TACOMA, Wash. (CN) – A woman who sought counseling after a drunk-driving charge says her counselor told her she was not an alcoholic, plied her with drinks, took her home and had sex with her, and as she drove home she was pulled over and charged with drunk driving again.
After getting a DUI ticket in 2008, Rene Muhammad says she sought treatment Alternative Counseling. While she was being evaluated for treatment, she says defendant Clay Vince Statewright “came into the room, interrupted the assessment, and told [the first employee] he would take over.”
“Instead of using his knowledge to effectively treat Rene as an alcoholic and vulnerable person, defendant Statewright told Rene that he was the one [that] would keep her out of jail and that she didn’t really need alcohol treatment,” the complaint states. “He then drove Rene to The Ram, a nearby bar and restaurant. Rene left her car at Alternative Counseling.”
At the bar, Muhammad says, Statewright bought her “numerous drinks” and she “became very intoxicated. He kept telling Rene that she was not an alcoholic and that she did not have a drinking problem. He claimed to Rene that he sat on the ‘board of the judge’ that was presiding over her impending DUI. She had no reason to doubt him.”
She says Statewright took her back to the counseling center to get her car and told her to follow him to a liquor store, where he bought more booze, and “then told Rene to follow him back to his apartment.”
There, he “continued to ply Rene with alcohol, telling her she did not have a drinking problem,” and persuaded her to have sex with him, she says. “After trying to resist his sexual overtures, she finally relented.”
But “After leaving defendant Statewright’s house, Rene was stopped on her way home by a police officer. She was again charged with driving under the influence.”
Things deteriorated. She says she returned to Alternative Counseling, where Statewright told her that he had “everything under control” and would keep her out of jail.
She claims Statewright repeatedly abused his powers as a certified chemical dependency professional: Rather than attend group therapy, “she was told to sign the ‘sign in sheet’ and leave. … Statewright would tell her that she was not an alcoholic and therefore she did not need to attend the group therapy sessions. …
“Instead of Rene attending the group sessions, defendant Statewright would order Rene to drive to his apartment and wait for him,” the complaint says. “He would have alcohol waiting at his apartment for her. … After conducting the group therapy sessions, defendant Statewright would leave Alternative Counseling and go to his apartment, where he would take advantage of Rene by encouraging her to drink more alcohol and then sexually abusing her.”
She claims Statewright called her “at all hours of the day and into the night. Sometimes he would threaten her that if she did not do as he directed, he would make her life difficult.” One day, she says, he called her at 4:35 a.m. “His control over Rene was relentless, and the alcohol and sexual abuse was continuous.”
She adds: “While ‘treating’ her, defendant Statewright continuously suggested and stated that he could influence the court system in her favor or against her. He would tell Rene that she needed to act like his girlfriend, and he showed her his handgun and suggested that he would use it on her if she did not follow his directions.”
Muhammad says that early in the morning of Oct. 5, 2008, after refusing Statewright’s demands for sex, she left his place and drove home and was again stopped and cited for driving under the influence. She was put on home detention.
This time, she says, Statewright ordered another counselor to forge a letter and forge church letterhead “so Rene could appear to attend church and Bible study hours.”
Later that month, she says, she when she told Statewright she wanted to be treated at a women’s in-patient program, Statewright “became very angry and told her that he would make sure she went to jail if she tried to stop ‘treating’ with him.”
Finally, she says, in July 2009, she began counseling at the Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County. She “sought and obtained a temporary sexual assault protection order against defendant Statewright,” but continued to live in fear of him. She says the protective order is still in effect.
She filed a complaint against him with the Washington State Department of Health in August 2009 and the state filed charges against him and suspended his license in September 2010, according to the complaint.
Muhammad seeks punitive damages from Statewright, Alternative Counseling, Action Counseling and Kassuhn Inc., for negligence, lack of informed consent, breach of contract, emotional distress, invasion of privacy, assault and battery, and false imprisonment.
She is represented by Michael Pfau and Tanya Hankins of Seattle.