Neptune social worker’s license suspended amid groping allegations
A social worker from Neptune undergoes temporary suspension of his license, charged of taking physical liberties with a female client during therapy.
Cheong "Alec" Park, 49, was charged with criminal sexual assault August 31 by Jersey City police, for an incident believed to have occurred in July, according to the office of New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino. Word of the suspension by the State Board of Work Examiners was disclosed Friday.
The Board's consent order alleges that Park, in prior sessions, hugged the client and massaged her face, neck, shoulders and upper chest, calling it relaxation therapy.
According to information in the consent order, Park discussed the initial contacts with a supervisor, claiming to be conducting exposure therapy, and was told that he was not trained or experienced in the practice, and to avoid physical contact.
It is also alleged that Park expressed physical attraction to the client on more than one occasion, telling her initially that he was "in a panic."
The session that triggered the current chain of events involved Park's alleged massage of the woman's chest, and bare breasts inside her bra, after she remarked that she had difficulty setting boundaries.
According to the consent order, Park allegedly texted the woman afterward, claiming that he "lost control."
Until the case is resolved, Park is barred from clinical social work, social work, alcohol and drug counseling, mental health therapy and/or counseling, and from providing social work services in any setting, including those outside licensing restrictions such as unpaid or volunteer services life coaching, internet counseling and non-profit or exempt situations.
Patients who suspect inappropriate contact by licensed health care professionals can file complaints through the New Jersey Consumer Affairs web page, or by phone at 1-800-242-5846 or 973-504-6200.
Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.