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Former therapist in Pinellas admits to having sex with patient

Published Dec. 23, 2014

LARGO — A former mental health counselor was sentenced on Monday to six months in the Pinellas County Jail plus six years' probation, for having sexual relations with one patient and stealing from another.

Richard Walter Fedora, 66, pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct by a psychotherapist and grand theft, both felonies. Under the terms of his probation, he cannot work in the mental health field and cannot contact his victims.

Fedora previously turned in his license as a mental health counselor, said his attorney, Amanda Powers Sellers.

Assistant State Attorney Brian Gnage said authorities obtained emails in which Fedora had claimed sex would help his patient in her treatment.

She was a patient at St. Pete Behavioral Health Center in Tarpon Springs at the time.

In a separate incident, Fedora used a client's debit card to buy him cigarettes, but also made $600 in unauthorized purchases. He later paid the money back, Gnage said.

Times staff writer

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