Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Thursday, April 11, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Client Claims Drug Counselor Preyed on Her Sexually

AUBURN, Calif. (CN) - A drug and alcohol counselor repeatedly demanded and received fellatio from a client under threat of revoking her probation, the woman claims in court.

Jane Doe, a 50-year-old mother of five, sued Community Recovery Resources aka CORR and Tomas Bonilla on Nov. 10 in Placer County Court.

Doe says she hit rock bottom in her life while dealing with "an extremely difficult personal situation," and was prescribed "several medications" to treat anxiety and depression.

In August 2012, she was involved in a motor vehicle accident that led to DUI charges. As a first-time offender, entered a plea agreement with the district attorney. Under the agreement, she could avoid jail time if she completed treatment for substance abuse and complied with terms of her probation.

She signed up for an 18-month program with Community Recovery Resources, a nonprofit, and was assigned to Bonilla, a certified alcohol and drug counselor, she says in the complaint.

She claims Bonilla immediately began grooming her to fulfill his sexual desires by instilling fear. In a phone conversation before their second meeting, Doe says, Bonilla told her, "If you are going to drop a pill before you come in here next time, I will call your probation officer."

"Plaintiff, in fact, did not take any drugs prior to attending one-on-one session with Bonilla and was terrified at the prospect of being out of compliance with probation and having to serve time in jail and/or prison," the complaint states.

Bonilla offered her a ride home after one of session, if she "would not tell his supervisor," and she "politely declined the offer," she says.

In their first group session, Doe says, Bonilla chastised her for writing too many notes about addictive behaviors in a movie with "several sex scenes" that made her uncomfortable.

"When plaintiff handed Bonilla her notes, he crumbled it up and said, 'I didn't ask you to write a book, I asked you to write down behaviors,'" Doe says in the complaint. "He then threw away her notes. Plaintiff and others in the room were stunned about Bonilla's behavior toward plaintiff."

During a September 2013 one-on-one session, she says, Bonilla told her, "the only thing he could think about was her lips."

Doe said she tried to discourage his advances and shift his attention by explaining the difficulties in her life. When she told him that he was not listening to her, she says, Bonilla responded by saying, "You have my full attention," and then "removed his erect penis from his pants and required plaintiff to perform fellatio."

The complaint lists 11 dates, most of them separated by precisely one or two weeks, on which Bonilla "required" and "coerced" her into fellatio. "In fact, the only part of plaintiff's body that Bonilla ever touched was the back of her head," she says in the complaint.

She says only after Bonilla was transferred did she feel safe enough to report the situation to the director of CORR, who "responded by saying something to the effect of 'We knew that guy was a douche. Thank you for finally giving us enough to get rid of him.'"

Courthouse News could not reach a CORR spokesperson after hours Wednesday.

Doe claims the abuse not only inflicted humiliation, shame, and mental and emotional distress, it added time to her treatment program, which took her 27 months to complete.

"During the course of treatment ... Bonilla used his abilities and knowledge of plaintiff's personal life and his ability to have her arrested and deprived of her freedom to require her to perform fellatio in his office at CORR," the complaint states. "Furthermore, Bonilla utilized personal information contained in plaintiff's file with CORR to attempt to come to her residence in order to seek further sexual contact with her."

Doe's attorneys, Jeffrey Fulton and Natalya Grunwald in Sacramento, did not return a phone call or respond to emails Wednesday afternoon.

She seeks punitive damages for sexual contact with a patient, sexual harassment, assault and battery, sexual battery and negligent supervision, medical expenses, lost earnings and attorney's fees.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.