MEMPHIS — A sicko Tennessee shrink has been suspended for allegedly beating patients with a riding crop and calling them mules as part of her therapy sessions.
Valeria Augustus has been ordered by state authorities to close her office for two months and could lose her medical license for good following a review, officials said.
Augustus has run Christian Psychiatrist Services for 17 years, and was found to have spanked at least 10 patients with the crop. In 2015, officials say she whipped the buttocks of a patient with a history of physical abuse, and who suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts.
An investigation by state authorities also found that Augustus had “made contact with other mental health patients with a riding crop, whip or other object.” The probe also revealed that Augustus kept a riding crop and a whip “displayed in her office” and “compared her patients to mules,” according to the Nashville Tennessean.
The Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners suspended Augustus’ license after determining there was “no evidence” in psychiatrist literature that using whips or riding crops is an effective part of treatment.
Her license was suspended for 60 days as the agency continues its probe. If cleared, Augustus can petition to have her license reinstated.
Augustus was also fined $10,000 – $1,000 for each patient she struck.