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Archive for Thursday, October 20, 2005

Father of resident says son told him of nude therapy sessions

October 20, 2005

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— A former resident of a center whose owners are accused of mistreating mentally ill residents told his father of nude group therapy sessions, the father testified Wednesday.

"He said they were having nude therapy at the Kaufman House, and that didn't fit our lifestyle at all," the man said during the federal trial of Arlan Kaufman, 69, and Linda Kaufman, 62.

The 85-year-old man, testifying from Manhattan over closed-circuit television, told the jury that he took his son out of the Kaufman House Residential Treatment Center in Newton after that discussion, which was preceded by his son's attempted suicide in December 2001.

The father said the Kaufmans charged him about $8,500 a year for housing his son but that when he went to pick up his son's belongings, he was given a final bill for more than $21,000.

His son's clothes, he said, were "just one huge pile in the middle of the room."

The Kaufmans face more than 30 counts - including health care fraud, forced labor and holding clients in involuntary servitude - related to the treatment of mentally ill residents.

They contend their treatment methods, including the nude therapy sessions, had therapeutic value for schizophrenic patients and that having residents act out problem behavior helped them avoid repeating it.

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