Illinois licensed counselor Michael Jacksa, a former employee of Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, has been accused of sexual assault and abuse by at least 7 patients. Our attorneys have opened a full investigation into Timberline Knolls and its sexual assault policies.
You are not alone. Learn more about your legal options in a confidential, free consultation today. Some assault survivors may be eligible to pursue significant financial compensation by filing a lawsuit. Find more information on your rights at no charge and no obligation. Learn more from our Attorneys Protecting Victims’ Rights After Sexual Abuse & Rape In A Psychiatric Facility.
An addiction counselor at Illinois' Timberline Knolls treatment center has been accused of sexually assaulting multiple patients, according to ABC7. Licensed therapist Michael Jacksa has been arrested on six felony counts of criminal sexual assault and four counts of criminal sexual abuse. Jacksa is no longer employed at Timberline Knolls.
Prior to his arrest, Jacksa worked as a licensed clinical professional counselor, or LCPS, at Timberline Knolls, a treatment facility in Lemont, Illinois that caters to women who are struggling with addiction disorders, including substance abuse disorders and eating disorders.
Authorities first laid charges against Jacksa when a 29-year-old woman came forward to accuse the counselor of sexually assaulting her on three occasions, during counseling sessions in May and June of 2018. As a therapeutic patient with multiple diagnosed mental disorders, prosecutors have argued that the young woman was not capable of giving her consent to sexual activity at the time.
Since announcing these initial charges, local police say a number of other former patients have stepped forward to accuse Jacksa of similar misconduct.
As Patch reports, at least 6 other women from across the country have contacted the Lemont Police Department to say that Jacksa engaged in "inappropriate sexual behavior" during therapy sessions at Timberline Knolls. Jacksa is accused of committing heinous sexual abuse; patients say the therapist digitally penetrated their buttocks and vaginas, placed his hands beneath their clothing, fondled their breasts and forced them to give him oral sex.
Initially, Jacksa was released on a $1 million bond, but his bond was later denied after a second patient came forward to substantiate the allegations of misconduct against the licensed counselor. At Jacksa's first bond hearing, held on August 21, 2018, prosecutors told a judge that the counselor admitted that he "probably went too far" in some therapy sessions. Authorities are continuing to investigate the new claims and say additional changes may be possible.
Timberline Knolls released a short statement following the charges against Jacksa. While the treatment facility did not comment on the particular case, citing patient privacy concerns, Timberline Knolls says it is "cooperating fully" with authorities in their investigations.
The company says it has a zero tolerance policy "for any activity that endangers the physical or emotional wellbeing of a resident," ABC7 reports. In separate comments to CBS2, Timberline Knoll officials said that all employees of the facility undergo extensive background checks before being hired.
Jacksa's license as a professional clinical counselor is still listed as active at the Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation. A search of the site shows no prior disciplinary record.
Timberline Knolls came to national prominence recently after singer Demi Lovato received treatment at the 43-acre facility, which is secluded in the woodlands off New Avenue, about 30 miles from Chicago. Lovato spoke openly about her experience at the residential treatment center, saying she trusted the team there with her life.
In light of the troubling allegations against Michael Jacksa, our experienced Illinois sexual assault attorneys have launched a full investigation into Timberline Knolls and the residential treatment center's handling of sexual abuse complaints.
Were you or a loved one sexually abused while receiving treatment at Timberline Knolls? You are not alone. Our dedicated legal team is here to support you in your time of need. This was not your fault. There is no excuse for sexual abuse in the counseling room.
Counselors and therapists have a sworn obligation to help, not harm. Any form of sexual contact, whether consensual or non-consensual, is a deep breach of a therapist's ethical code. No one deserves to be mistreated, especially when they place their trust and recovery into the hands of a therapist.
If the allegations against counselor Michael Jacksa are true, we believe that the responsible parties must be held accountable. Some sexual abuse survivors may even be eligible to pursue financial compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. To learn more about your legal options, contact our compassionate lawyers today for a free consultation. You can find more information on your rights at no cost and no obligation.