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HATTIESBURG, MS: Episcopal Ex-counselor jailed in sex case

HATTIESBURG, MS: Episcopal Ex-counselor jailed in sex case

by Tina Marie Macias
June 4, 2010

A psychiatrist and former Ascension Episcopal High School counselor was arrested Wednesday in Hattiesburg for allegedly enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity, FBI Special Agent Shelia Thorne said Thursday.

Federal agents detained Dr. Allison Campo Hargrave, 39, at the Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services, a facility well-known for treating sex addiction, among other behavioral problems.

The arrest follows a May 26 indictment, according to court records unsealed Thursday. Hargrave was indicted in Shreveport for "using a facility in interstate commerce, did knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity," from October to February, according to the indictment.

Thorne did not know more details about the investigation. Some court documents, including the arrest warrant have not been made available.

Hargrave is being held in the Stone County Regional Jail in Wiggins, Miss. She will be extradited to Lafayette in the coming days, Thorne said.

According to court documents, three more open indictments are pending against Hargrave. Three court dates in Shreveport are set for this month.

Hargrave resigned from Ascension in March after the family of a student accused her of sexual abuse. The family filed a civil lawsuit against her and the school.

The lawsuit claims Hargrave had a sexual relationship with a then-14-year-old female student.

The suit also alleges the school administration did not supervise properly, and Hargrave abused the student while acting out her duties as a counselor on school property.

Ascension has denied the claims. Michael Juneau, an attorney for Ascension could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

The student was caught with cigarettes on school property when she was in eighth-grade, according to the lawsuit. As a condition of being accepted into the ninth-grade for the 2009-10 school year, she had to attend counseling with Hargrave.

Hargrave is a licensed medical doctor who had a private practice as a psychiatrist before working for Ascension. Hargrave's medical license is still active, but action might be taken against her because of the arrest, Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners spokeswoman Rita Arceneaux said Thursday.

A sexual relationship may have started as early as the summer of 2009 when Hargrave allegedly began contacting the student, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit does not define the sexual relationship, but the family's attorney, Anthony Fontana of Abbeville, said the two had sex.

"That doesn't mean kissing; that doesn't mean holding hands," Fontana said in March. He did not return a call requesting comment on Hargrave's arrest Thursday.

Among other things, the lawsuit asks for damages because of mental and emotional harm, interference with a parent-child relationship, medical expenses, loss of innocence, interference with student's education and interference with sexual maturation and sexuality.

The family asked for a trial, and a date has not been set.


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