STANFORD, Calif. -- The doctor in charge of student health at Stanford University has resigned amid reports that he had a nine-year sexual relationship with a patient in his Massachusetts office before coming to California, the school says.
Dr. Paul A. Walters, 62, a psychiatrist, refused to comment on the matter Wednesday.
But James Lyons, dean of student affairs at Stanford, said Walters will step down June 14. 'It was solely his decision,' Lyons said.
The Boston Globe reported in its Thursday editions that the woman was paid more than $200,000 last year to settle a medical malpractice suit against Walters over the alleged sexual abuse.
Walters has been chief of Stanford's Cowell Student Health Services since 1983, when he left a position as the head of Harvard University health services mental health division. He also had a private practice in Massachusetts.
A report by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine said Walters allegedly had frequent sex with the female patient in his office between 1972 and 1981. Contents of the report were published in the San Jose Mercury News and the Globe.
The patient performed oral sex on Walters 'on numerous occasions, sometimes as often as two out of three analysis sessions per week. On one occasion, (Walters) performed oral sex on (the patient). All of the sexual contact occurred in (Walters') medical office,' the newspapers quoted the report as saying.
Walters ended therapy with the patient in June 1983, according to the report.
The newspapers said Stanford officials had known about the allegations against Walters since last November. Lyons refused to comment.
The unidentified woman told the Globe in an interview that she had submitted to the sex with Walters because she had been sexually abused as a child and a young adult and said she was vunerable to Walters' suggestions during her lengthy psychoanalysis, which focused on her abuse as a child.
'Outside the office, you are a consenting adult. But inside the office, you are an inchoate child,' she said.
The Globe said the $200,000-plus settlement of the woman's malpractice suit was paid by Harvard.
The Walters case is the latest in a series of scandals in Massachusetts in which women have come forward and accused therapists of sexual abuse, sometimes years after the alleged incidents occurred.
One psychiatrist, Dr. Richard Ingrasci, 41, of Newton, surrendered his medical license to the board in February after being sued by two former patients over alleged sexual abuse. One patient said Ingrasci, a specialist in holistic medicine, told her sexual contact was necessary to cure her cancer.
Last month, Dr. Lionel A. Schwartz, 66, a psychiatrist affiliated with Harvard Medical School, gave up his license on the eve of a board hearing into sexual misconduct charges involving three female patients during the 1960s and 1970s. One of the women has sued Schwartz for malpractice.
In Walters' case, the Globe quoted the board's report as saying that he refused to recommend another therapist for the woman when their relationship ended in 1983, even though she asked for one. At the time, the woman's mother was dying of cancer, the report said.
As a result of Walters' behavior, the report said, the woman 'was unable to develop relationships with other men for a large part of her adult life and became mistrustful of others in general and men in particular,' the report said.