WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- A North Salem family therapist who also had an office in Bronxville was sentenced to five years in state prison for sexually abusing two patients.
Mark Bernardini, a 57-year-old North Salem resident was sentenced after pleading guilty in January to one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree, a Class B violent felony and one count of forcible touching, a Cass A misdemeanor, according to Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore
Bernardini will also be subject to fifteen years of post release supervision.
Last May, Bernardini, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, inappropriately touched a 19-year-old woman that he was counseling at his home office in North Salem, according to DiFiore.
The victim told her parents, who contacted the New York State Police, according to DiFiore.
Last July at his office in Bronxville, Bernardini also engaged in sexual contact with a 12-year-old boy that he was counseling, according to DiFiore.
The victim told his family after the session and they immediately contacted the Bronxville police.
The defendant was arrested outside of his office later that day by the Bronxville police.
“This defendant used his position of trust and authority as a therapist to target, take advantage of and exploit for his own desires these two unsuspecting victims. Instead of helping them with their vulnerabilities, he used them," DiFiore said. "The courage displayed by both young victims in this case in immediately alerting their parents to what had transpired resulted in this defendant being held accountable today."
Upon his release Bernardini will have to register as a sex offender under the provisions of Megan’s Law.
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