WAUKESHA COUNTY, Wis. — A woman who worked as therapist in Wisconsin has been charged with felony exploitation of a client who reported for counseling sessions as part of a court-ordered treatment for alcohol and drug addiction, according to reports.
Kristina Daul worked for the Waukesha County Health and Human Services during the time she is accused of the crimes. Prosecutors say she had an ongoing sexual relationship with a female client from December 2020 until summer 2021, FOX 6 Milwaukee reported.
The victim had been receiving drug and alcohol treatment through the county’s Drug Treatment Court. She said she and Daul, 42, engaged in sexual acts about three to five times a week at Daul’s office after therapy sessions. The therapist often placed a “do not disturb” sign on the door. The two also engaged in sex at their homes, according to the criminal complaint obtained by FOX 6.
According to court documents, a witness, who was the victim’s past drug therapy sponsor and had known her for about five years, told investigators she was worried Daul was changing the victim’s treatment plans as a way of “manipulating or influencing” her.
The victim had confided in the witness that her treatments were altered around the same time she and her therapist were “fighting or not getting along in their personal relationship.” Moreover, the victim acknowledged with investigators that she “became privy” to “protected health information” related to between 20 and 30 of Daul’s other clients during the course of their relationship, FOX reported.
The victim also said she and Daul would engage sexual activity while Daul was holding therapy sessions over the phone with other clients, WDJT reported.
Daul mentioned a former relationship with one of her clients on social media, writing in one post that as a therapist, she “chose LOVE over Ethics – which was wrong of me,” according to prosecutors.
It was unclear when Daul lost her employment, but she filed a temporary restraining order against the victim in August 2021, writing the victim was an ex-girlfriend who had cost Daul her job at Waukesha County Health and Human Services, according to FOX.
During an interview with detectives, Daul admitted to the sexual relationship “because she didn’t want to ‘jeopardize’” the victim’s recovery. She also said that the law and her ethical responsibility were “black and white” and if she went to jail because what she did was wrong, “then so be it.”
Daul made her first court appearance Friday. Her bond was set at $50,000 and she is due to return to court on Tuesday.