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Minnesota Woman Accused of Contacting Therapy Patient She Allegedly Sexually Abused: Cops

Social Worker Kept Contacting Abused Patient, Cops Say
Source: Olmsted County Sheriff's Office; Unsplash

Mandy Hyland was arrested in June 2023, charged with sex with a "vulnerable adult."

Oct. 14 2023, Published 2:12 p.m. ET

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A Minnesota woman accused of sexually abusing a therapy patient now is in more trouble, with a higher bail, authorities said.

Mandy Hyland is accused of contacting the alleged abuse victim in August. That would be a violation of her original terms for getting out of jail, Knewz.com reported.

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Hyland, 43, was charged in late June with having sex two months earlier with a “vulnerable adult,” as court documents put it. A judge in Rochester granted bail to Hyland in July on the condition that she not contact the alleged victim.

But then the alleged victim was jailed in a separate case in late September. He reportedly has a history of drug addiction. Jail employees noticed he received a large number of video calls from “Karen Bjellum,” only with the caller’s camera covered.

“I love you. You can do that,” she said to him on September 11, according to the Rochester Post Bulletin.

Police said during one call, Hyland called herself “Mandy” instead of “Karen,” blowing her cover.

Officers also accused Hyland of sending photos, videos and text messages to the alleged victim weeks earlier.

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KAAL-TV reports Hyland recently was ordered back to jail on $1 million bail. It is unconditional, with her next court appearance scheduled for November 21.

Hyland once owned a counseling center in Rochester and was licensed as a psychologist. That’s apparently where she met the alleged victim. He told police he “grew attached to Hyland while she was his therapist because she was the one person he could trust.”

“I love you… I want to love you forever. I want you to love me forever,” Hyland reportedly wrote in one text.

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According to KAAL-TV, the man tried to get away from Hyland by checking into a crisis center for mental health reasons. But she somehow learned his new phone number.

The state of Minnesota ordered Hyland to stop all social work in August. Hyland had 15 years of experience in social work.

Minnesota state law bars sexual relationships with clients by psychologists and massage therapists. That’s a nationwide general practice.

“The American Psychiatric Association… American Psychological Association, and National Association of Social Workers view therapist–client sexual relationships as inappropriate,” a 2020 study in The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law said.

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But Front Page Detectives also is reporting on an Ohio case in which a social worker is accused of having sex with a teenage client within months of receiving her license.

The 2020 study also noted the American Medical Association opposes any sexual relations between physicians and current patients, but allows exceptions with former patients.

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