A clinical psychologist hired by the US Air Force to treat military veterans with PTSD has been charged with raping female veterans who came to him for help. Dr. Health J. Sommer is facing three felony counts of sexual assault. Investigators say he targeted female veterans between 2014 and 2015 while working at the David Grant Medical Center at Travis Airforce base in Fairfield, CA.
Investigators say Sommer used "exposure therapy" on the women to have them "re-experience" their sexual assaults, leaving them more traumatized. One patient said Sommer moved the sessions to his home.
A Travis Air Force Base spokeswoman said Sommer was vetted and "nothing popped up during his background check". The Air Force suspended Sommer when patients came forward to complain and military investigators are working with Fairfield police to identify any additional victims.
Sommer has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Sexual assault the in the military remains a huge problem and a highly unreported crime. The Pentagon issues a report each year on sexual harassment and assault in the military. In April, that report showed sexual assaults up 10 percent and reported sexual harassment up 16 percent.
No industry, company or agency is immune to sexual harassment, discrimination or retaliation. It can happen anywhere and the only answer is to change the culture of the environment to allow victims to come forward and to encourage a culture of safety and productivity. We can help with that last part. See: www.mycecourse.com for how.