A Metro Vancouver psychologist with a criminal record for sexual assault has again had his practice restricted due to a complaint he allegedly crossed lines with a patient.
Richard Freeman must now have a chaperone present whenever he sees patients in his role at the psychiatry department at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, according to a recent public notice from the College of Psychologists of BC
He also agreed not to see any patients in his private practice, to limit his physical contact with patients to “healthy handshakes” and to limit his use of text messages and emails to communicate with patients, the report says. ‘notice.
The restrictions are the result of a complaint from someone who saw Freeman for an outpatient evaluation and alleged he “crossed professional boundaries,” according to the college.
The college’s Board of Investigation was unable to come to a final conclusion about the complaint, but the notice says Freeman accepted the limitations of his practice to address the patient’s concerns.
CBC News has contacted Fraser Health, which operates the hospital, for comment.
This is the second time in the past decade that Freeman has accepted such restrictions on his work.
A similar company in 2012 placed him under surveillance, restricted him to seeing only male patients in his private practice, and barred him from physical contact with clients.
He was previously suspended from practice entirely due to his criminal history.
Freeman was convicted of sexual assault in 1997 for groping a 19-year-old patient who went to see him for treatment of anorexia.
He was initially convicted of sexually assaulting three patients, but two of those convictions were later overturned by the British Columbia Court of Appeal, according to newspaper reports from the time.
According to a notice published by the college in The Province newspaper in 1998, Freeman accepted a three-year suspension from practice for professional misconduct after being found guilty.