5 Years in Prison, 15 Years Supervision for Therapist Who Sexually Abused Patients

Clinical Social Worker Mark Bernardini, who pleaded guilty in January to sexually abusing two patients, was sentenced today to five years in state prison and 15 years post-release supervision, Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced Feb. 19.

 had pleaded guilty in January to:
• one count of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, a class “B” Violent Felony
• one count of Forcible Touching, a class “A” Misdemeanor, relating to two separate incidents with two different victims.

According to DiFiore, Bernardini “inappropriately touched a 19-year-old woman that he was counseling at his home office in North Salem” in May of 2013. And in July, Bernardini “engaged in sexual contact with a 12-year-old boy that he was counseling” while at his Milburn Street office in Bronxville.

“This defendant used his position of trust and authority as a therapist to target, take advantage of and exploit for his own desires these two unsuspecting victims. Instead of helping them with their vulnerabilities, he used them. The courage displayed by both young victims in this case in immediately alerting their parents to what had transpired resulted in this defendant being held accountable today,” DiFiore said in a statement. 

Bruce February 19, 2014 at 10:11 PM
He's a white professional male; they don't do real time. Look at the doctor who sold millions in illegal prescriptions and got probation. What a joke.
Theresa Prunty Maddalone February 20, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Unbelievable 5 years. What is happening in todays world? What about those he abused, will all be ok with them in 5 years? I seriously doubt it.
Rob T February 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Here hoping they leave him in general population so he can be traded for cigarettes.
Rachel February 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM
The basketball coach in Cortlandt got 25 years to life for his sickening acts, why was this piece of trash issued such a shorter sentence?
P February 22, 2014 at 10:28 AM
One word answers all your questions pertaining to why this horrible human only received a 5 year sentence and it simply comes down to MONEY. I'm sure this asshole had a private practice, made out pretty well and had a 6 figure lawyer on retainer just in case he ran into trouble. For all you outraged, please don't fear, this guy will have an extremely unpleasant 5 years of being passed around and flip flopped.


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