Counselor faces sex-abuse charge
A Lake Oswego 'spiritual counselor' who operated out of an office in Tigard has been arrested on a charge of second-degree sex abuse, relating to an incident last fall with one of his patients, according to Tigard police.
Ronald W. Leber, 55, had 'inappropriate sexual contact' with a 38-year-old woman during a therapy session last fall, said Jim Wolf, Tigard police public information officer.
He said Tigard police are asking others who might have experienced similar incidents with Leber to call them.
Leber is scheduled to be arraigned on the misdemeanor charge in Washington County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
Leber is executive director of Renewed Minds, a Tigard non-profit organization 'whose primary concern is for the broken person,' according to his Web site. On the site, Leber says his counseling is free and offered to those who are 'disenfranchised' or 'disengaged from our community.'
He said he helps with conflict resolution and discovering 'personal passion.'
The alleged victim said that the inappropriate contact occurred after Leber befriended a group of men and women who had connections to a Tigard-area organization that provided mental health services, according to Wolf.
Police allege that Leber used his connection to the group to cultivate new clients. To endear himself, police said Leber threw a barbecue and brought in hair stylists for free haircuts at the group's apartment complex.
One of the newfound clients was the 38-year-old woman involved in the sex-abuse case.
'She went to see him for some counseling,' said Wolf.
The allegation did not emerge until the woman disclosed it to another counselor after the alleged incident. Wolf said police began investigating the allegations last fall.
'We could potentially hear of others,' he said, referring to additional victims.
Wolf said Leber's clinic appears to have shut down and is being vacated.
Leber's Web site says he has a master's in theological studies and a master's in counseling from George Fox University, and that he is certified by the state 'Quality Mental Health Profession.'
Anyone with information about Leber is to contact Tigard Detective Dave Hockin at 503-718-2553.