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Paris social worker accused of sexual abuse

Paris social worker accused of sexual abuse
Paris social worker accused of sexual abuse

A Paris social worker has been accused of sexual abuse, misconduct and professional misconduct by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

In a notice of the hearing posted on the regulatory agency’s website, Laura Dowler is accused of several offenses involving at least three clients while she worked at Grand River Counseling.

One alleged incident involves a client Dowler worked with between June 2019 and September 2022. The hearing notice alleges she engaged in sexual contact and made inappropriate comments of a sexual nature.

The statement also accuses Dowler of going to the client’s home and refusing to leave when asked.

The second alleged incident involves a client Dowler worked with between February 2020 and November 2020. The notice states that she also engaged in sexual touching and conduct with that client and that she had a sexual relationship with the client from the fall of 2020 to the winter of 2021.

In a third alleged incident involving a different client, Dowler is accused of engaging in inappropriate behavior, including exchanging text messages and accepting gifts from a client she began counseling in 2019.

She is accused of:

  • failure to ensure that clients are protected against abuse of power
  • entering into a professional relationship that constitutes a conflict of interest
  • engage in sexual relations with clients
  • failure to fully cooperate with all policies and procedures of the Complaints, Discipline and Suitability Committees
  • requesting or using information from clients to obtain an advantage or material benefit (directly or indirectly)
  • failing to ensure that she did not use her position of power to coerce, improperly influence, intimidate, abuse or exploit a client
  • engaging in behavior that could reasonably be perceived as a negative reflection on the social work profession

The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers received the allegations on April 20, 2024. No date has yet been set for the hearing.

None of these claims have been tested or proven by the disciplinary committee. The upcoming hearing is not a criminal proceeding.