‘Addictionologist, My Foot,’ Patient Says

     SEATTLE (CN) – The director of a Catholic drug treatment center lied about his credentials, seduced a patient, gave her crack cocaine and asked her to join a sexual threesome with him and a 10-year-old boy, prompting her to call police, who arrested the director for attempted rape of a child, the woman claims in court.
     Plaintiff T.V. sued Catholic Community Services of Western Washington and The Matt Talbot New Hope Recovery Center, in King County Court.
     Catholic Community Services manages and controls the Talbot Center, where (nonparty) David Scratchley was director of drug treatment programs from April 2006 to July 2011, according to the complaint.
     “David Scratchley held himself out as a psychologist and an expert on such topics as parenting, drug treatment, and mental health conditions accompanying addiction,” the complaint states. “He authored books on the subjects, frequently gave speeches to various groups, and co-hosted a radio show.”
     With Scratchley at the helm, T.V. claims: “The Talbot Center trumpeted Scratchley on its website as a respected psychologies in its treatment programs: ‘[S]upervised by Dr. David Scratchley, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and renowned Addictionologist, our recovery and relapse prevention program addresses the physiology, psychology and sociology of addiction.’
     “In reality, Scratchley has never been a licensed psychologist in the state of Washington, and the only state health license Scratchley held was an entry level certification as a chemical dependency trainee, issued in 2009.” (Brackets in complaint.)
     According to the complaint: “In approximately April 2006, The Talbot Center hired Scratchley to become the director of its drug treatment programs. Upon information and belief, The Talbot Center did not check Scratchley’s references, credentials, or contact his previous employers to determine his suitability to direct the treatment programs and offer psychological counseling. Scratchley remained employed at The Talbot Center until approximately July 2011.”
     T.V. claims that Scratchley counseled her for several months at the clinic and “discussed his own personal issues and problems, and inserted the topic of sexuality into the sessions.” She says he called her at night and told her that “nobody cared about her the way he did.”
     She says Scratchley seduced her and got her hooked on crack.
     “After the counseling sessions ended, Scratchley continued to pursue T.V., and in September 2009, they began having an intimate relationship which continued until approximately July 2011. During the relationship, Scratchley introduced T.V. to illegal drugs, and they used drugs together with such regularity that T.V. developed an addiction to cocaine and crack. Even though he was the director of a prominent drug treatment program, Scratchley was able to get away with his rampant drug use because The Talbot Center has no drug testing program of employees,” according to the complaint.
     T.V. says Scratchley was obsessed with “kinky sexual activities” and tried to get her to participate.
     “Scratchley had numerous sexual obsessions, and he regularly talked about kinky sexual activities with T.V. On one occasion, Scratchley asked T.V. if she wanted to meet his son. When she met the person, it was not his son but a married man with two kids. She then learned that Scratchley had been in a long-term homosexual relationship with the man. Scratchley attempted to get T.V. to engage in a menage-a-trois with the man, but she refused. As the relationship progressed, Scratchley began telling T.V. about his sexual fantasies with children. Scratchley told T.V. that he had sexually abused children in the past. T.V. became highly concerned that Scratchley was currently acting on those fantasies when he told her about two young girls that he was having sexual contact with,” the complaint states.
     T.V. says she called the police after learning Scratchley was about to molest a young boy in his home.
     “On September 1, 2011, T.V. learned that Scratchley was planning on seducing a young boy into his home for the purpose of engaging in sexual intercourse, and Scratchley asked T.V. to join as a sexual threesome. The boy was the ten-year-old son of [a] different female patient that Scratchley had met at The Talbot Center. T.V. was appalled by Scratchley’s intentions and informed the authorities. Scratchley was subsequently arrested and has been charged with Attempted Rape of a Child in the First Degree, and Communication with a Minor for Immoral Purposes. During a search of Scratchley’s home following his arrest, authorities discovered narcotics, narcotics paraphernalia, pornographic ‘sex toys’ and instruments, and a pornographic DVD with ‘Teen’ in the title. Authorities also discovered potential child pornography, as well as evidence that Scratchley may have abused other children,” according to the complaint.
     T.V. claims that Scratchley took advantage of her while she was “vulnerable and seeking treatment for addiction to prescription medication” and caused her “significant confusion and severe emotional harm.”
     She seeks damages for negligence in checking Scratchley’s background, failing to properly supervise him, ignoring concerns about his drug use and failing to have policies to prevent improper relationships between treatment providers and patients. She also seeks damages for past, present and future pain, suffering and psychological injury and payment of medical bills.
     She is represented by Steven Reich with Gordon Thomas Honeywell.

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