Therapist abused patient for years ‘to rid her of the demon,’ court documents allege
Sep 20, 2023, 4:48 PM | Updated: 4:57 pm
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)
FARMINGTON, Davis County — A former Utah therapist is accused of physically harming and isolating a patient, claiming it would help her in “treating her demon disorder.”
Maurice Wade Harker, 54, was charged Tuesday with second-degree felonies of aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult and kidnapping, court documents state.
According to court documents, Harker provided therapy services to a “vulnerable adult female” diagnosed with PTSD and other mental health disorders from 2012 to May 2021.
The victim alleges that Harker, during this time, “preyed upon her vulnerabilities, asserting that physically and mentally aggressive harmful techniques were necessary in treating her demon disorder,” court documents state.
According to court documents, Harker told the victim that “demon ‘713’ was possessing her, causing mental, sexual, and physical health problems.”
The victim reported several physical abuse incidents from 2015 to 2020 that required medical attention. One incident resulted in a broken thumb that required surgery.
Court documents state that Harker was a high school wrestler and used those techniques to “manhandle the victim into submission.”
“Part of that process would entail the (Harker) physically restraining the victim and putting his hand over her nose and face so she could not breathe,” court documents state. “On numerous occasion(s), (Harker) would drag the victim to the floor and would pin her there with his knees so he could cover her face.”
According to court documents, Harker attempted to isolate the victim from other relationships to keep her reliant on him for emotional support and communication.
Court documents state that Harker created a Tinder profile for the victim and “would pose as her when interacting with men and encouraged her… to find sex.”
According to court documents, Harker would tell the victim about his past addiction to pornography, and he would use “fighting feelings” to overcome his addictions.
Harker repeatedly told the victim he had to “teach her about sex,” and the physical encounters were his way of doing so, court documents state.
According to court documents, when the victim tried to leave early from the sessions, Harker would back her into a corner, stating, “You don’t know who you’re messing with.”
“The victim stated it always ended with (Harker) then physically wrestling her to the ground and hurting her. He would then suffocate her, or slam her against the door,” court documents state.
According to court documents, the victim tried to avoid Harker, but he would “track her down” by driving “around to find her, then come to the car and slam on her windows.”
Harker is accused of putting a tracker on the victim’s car keys, but she was unaware of him using it on her.
According to court documents, Harker would often have the victim visit him on weekends for sessions but would not bill her as it was “friend time.”
On Wednesday, a declaration for a warrant of Harker’s arrest was issued.