For immediate release: Tuesday, Aug. 20
Accused psychologist faces hearing
He allegedly molested at least four kids
Police investigated him at least twice before
Now, he’s charged with child sexual abuse & child porn
An accused child molesting psychologist from the Santa Cruz area faces another preliminary hearing on Wednesday at which some of the evidence against him is expected to be revealed.
John William Visher (a.k.a. “Doctor Bill”) is charged with 21 counts of child molestation and possession of child pornography. At a preliminary hearing earlier this month, prosecutors revealed that they had found more than 1,200 digital pictures of child pornography on a single thumb in Visher’s office.
In September of last year, Visher was arrested. He was arraigned in May of this year. Prosecutors say that Visher abused four victims as far back as 2001.
Last October, he was also sued civilly for allegedly abusing an eight year old girl.
“As victims of child abuse, we in SNAP hope that the disturbing evidence against Visher finally lands him in jail and away from children,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis. He’s the executive director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
“We strongly urge any institution where Visher worked to reach out to all his former patients and colleagues. All of them should be prodded to report to authorities anything they may have seen, suspected or suffered,” said Clohessy. “We hope that legislators see this as yet another example of why the statute of limitation should have been extended earlier this week. But unfortunately, past victims of Visher currently cannot seek the justice they so desperately deserve.”
Visher received a license in 1982 to practice psychology in California. He was accused by four victims in 2001 and again in 2005 but not charged either time.
“That’s why complacency is so reckless,” Clohessy said. “Most of us want someone else to stick their necks out and call police. But it’s up to each one of us to share what we know or see or suspect about child predators. Had more people cared in 2001 and 2005, Visher might have been stopped years ago.”
Visher is represented by attorney Doug Fox. The prosecutor is Michael Gilman. Detective Sarah Ryan has investigated the case (831-475-4242, ext. 211). The criminal case is before Judge Paul Burdick.
Visher is in his mid-50s and lives in La Selva Beach. His office is on Bay Avenue.
One of Visher’s alleged victims is represented by attorney Dr. Joseph C. George Sr. of Sacramento.