Crime

Pierce County mental health counselor accused of inappropriate relationships with two clients

The state has charged a Pierce County mental health counselor with sexual misconduct and unprofessional misconduct after he had alleged inappropriate relationships with two female clients.

The state Department of Health has charged Donald Strand, and he has 30 days to respond. It could not be determined Friday where he worked.

Documents gave this account:

Strand began treating a suicidal woman in 2010, offered to be supportive like a “big brother” and asked her to text him if she was having a bad day.

The woman allegedly stayed in his office until 11 p.m. during one session while they cuddled on his couch and he rubbed her back and stomach underneath her shirt.

Strand told her intimate details about his sex life and sent her risqué photos of himself before the woman emailed Strand to say she no longer felt comfortable confiding in him.

He allegedly responded by saying he was still her “loving big bro” and wanted to continue protecting her. He also sent her photos of himself scantily clad.

A second incident involved a girl Strand met in 2003 at a church where he worked as a youth pastor. The girl was 12 when they met.

Over the years, the state said Strand counseled the girl and led a group for sexual assault victims in which the girl participated. She also baby-sat for Strand and his wife from 2008 to 2012.

On the nights the girl baby-sat and slept over, Strand allegedly waited for his wife to leave for work and then got in bed with the girl, cuddling her and kissing her head.

The state accused him of telling the girl her relationships with other men were not loving and suggested they meet at a motel. He called her his “girl” and told her sexually explicit information about his life.

The girl’s age at the time of the alleged relationship is unknown.

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