Psychologist sentenced for cocaine and molestation charges

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on May 3, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Updated Friday, May 3 at 6:00 PM

People fighting drug addictions went to him for help. But prosecutors say Dr. David Scratchley took advantage of those who trusted him and was addicted to drugs himself.

Friday, he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and attempted child molestation.

Last February, the KING 5 Investigators revealed that three women claimed Dr. David Scratchley devastated their lives, while he supervised the recovery and relapse program at the Matt Talbot Center.

He is accused of doing drugs himself, becoming sexually involved with patients, and failing to keep records of counseling sessions.

But what landed him in prison was befriending the son of a patient, luring him to his Belltown apartment, and texting his girlfriend of his intent to rape him.

"Let me say from the bottom of my heart the immeasurable regret and sorrow and regret for the pain I've caused,” Scratchley told the court.

His apology felt hollow to the girlfriend who turned him in. She declined to identify herself outside of the courtroom Friday.

"It sounded like the same old story I use to hear him say all the time,” she said. “He was sorry, he regretted, he blames everyone else.”

His attorney, John Henry Browne was quick to place much of the blame for Scratchley’s behavior.

"Three words: lots of cocaine,” Browne said.

Scratchley was sentenced to almost five years, with credit for the 20 months he’s already spent behind bars.

There were a number of Scratchley's patients in court Friday. One of them is now suing the Matt Talbot Center.

Attorneys for the treatment center told KING 5 that Scratchley came to them with impeccable credentials, even though the Department of Health said he was never licensed to practice in Washington.

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