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GRAND FORKS ⁠— A Grand Forks therapist is facing felony charges alleging he sexually exploited a patient.

David Harris Bialik, 59, is a licensed independent clinical social worker employed by the Center for Psychiatric Care, an affidavit for his arrest said. He previously served as president of the National Association of Social Workers in North Dakota and president of the Board of Directors for Mental Health America of North Dakota, according to his biography on the Center for Psychiatric Care website.

Bialik began treating a woman with weekly therapy sessions from January until April, the court document said. During an April appointment, she and Bialik had consensual sex in an empty office room during a scheduled appointment, the affidavit said. Bialik arranged to meet the woman at a hotel room during the next scheduled appointment and the affidavit reported they had sex again.

Bialik told the woman he would report in her medical records that she didn’t show up to the appointments in an attempt to hide where they’d actually been, the court document said. He asked her to lie about their relationship if anyone asked and the affidavit said he told her to say they had an emotional affair and it was a “transference thing,” which is a term for when a patient redirects emotions toward a therapist.

Bialik is facing three felony charges of sexual exploitation by therapist. Each charge holds a five year maximum sentence. The charges were filed Monday, but Bialik was not yet in custody that afternoon.

Bialik has been with the Center for Psychiatric Care since 1999, his biography said. There are clinic locations in Grand Forks, Fargo, Bemidji, Minn., Park Rapids, Minn., and Dickinson. The center’s human resources director could not be reached Monday afternoon for comment.

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