Anthony Conti, Jr., a 71-year old licensed mental health counselor in Lakeland, Florida, has been arrested on charges of sexual misconduct with female patients whom he was supposed to be counseling. According to public record, Conti has been licensed in Florida since 1982. The Lakeland Police Department detectives report that Conti touched women in their genital area during visits to his office at 1962 E. Edgewood Drive in Lakeland. According to police records, Conti admitted to touching one of the women during a recorded conversation.
As of September 28, four women have come forward to report their abuse during counseling sessions with Conti. According to one alleged victim, Conti told her he could he help rid her body of toxins and he discussed four levels of treatment, including the final level which involved intimate hands on touching. In one sessin, explained that there were glands in her breast region at which time he placed both of his hands underneath her bra and “groped” her breasts multiple times. The victim explained that she didn’t feel comfortable with this and had to leave. The victim stated that Conti then put his hands down her pants. The session ended and the victim later spoke with the State Attorney’s Office and they forwarded the case to the Lakeland Police Department.
A second alleged victim reported that Conti spoke to her for months about eastern medicine therapy and neurotransmitter releases that can be done. He further went into detail about serotoninss and how Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid are produced in your stomach and dopamine that is produced in your crotch area. During this session, the victim stated Conti commented on how gorgeous she was. The session ended and another one was scheduled.
On September 15, the victim arrived for another session and Conti brought up the aforementioned therapies and explained the science behind it. Conti had the victim lay down and he began rubbing her stomach under her shirt. He then proceeded to slide his hand underneath her pants and her underwear. The victim stated she felt embarrassed and froze. Conti continued to rub her inner thighs while he explained about her lymph nodes and the importance of them. The victim further stated that Conti began to massage her underneath her panties. The victim then told Conti to stop at which point he did. Conti then moved to her upper chest and explained the mechanics of his touch. He proceeded to touch her breast and told her she had beautiful breasts. The session ended and the victim left.
On September 27, one of the alleged victims worked with undercover detectives and made contact with Conti. During this visit, one victim asked Conti about him touching her during the previous therapy. Conti advised he does this because he is trying to restart the body and he referenced to touching the butt, breasts and vagina. Conti spoke of several other techniques, such as pelvic floor stimulation, and how they help relieve depression.
Sadly, sexual misconduct by licensed health care professionals is far more prevalent than many people realize. If there are any victims who have not yet reported their abuse by Anthony Conti, we encourage them to promptly contact the Lakeland Police Department and the Florida Department of Health.
Adam Horowitz is experienced in filing lawsuits on behalf of victims of sexual assault, including numerous cases related to sexual abuse by health care professionals. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual abuse by a doctor or other healthcareprofessional, please e-mail attorney Adam Horowitz at [email protected] or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100.