By Steve Large

FAIRFIELD (CBS13) — There are new details in the case against the Travis Air Force Base psychologist under arrest for allegedly raping his patients.

Heath Sommer is facing a long list of charges including rape and battery. His attorney says the sex he had with patients was treatment and was consensual.

Prosecutors describe Sommer as a predator.

His victims were female Air Force service members who went to David Grant Medical Center on the base, seeking therapy for sexual assault.

The Solano County District Attorney is filing the charges against him.

According to court documents obtained by the Fairfield Enterprise, the details are heinous.

One victim who sought therapy after a sexual assault in Afghanistan recounted to Sommer she was attacked in a dirty facility, and that she’d been served under-cooked goat by afghans before the assault. The Enterprise reports court documents allege “Sommer then got dirt out of his backyard and had the officer put it in her mouth. He had her eat meat from leftover Chinese food out of his refrigerator.”

“Then recommending she have a ‘positive and loving’ sexual experience… he put his hand over her mouth and had sex with her according to the testimony.”

Sommer called the treatment part of exposure therapy and said it was consensual.

Psychologist Diane Powell says that can not be true.

“There is no such thing as consensual sex in therapy, its always an exploitation,” Powell said.

She says exposure therapy is sometimes used in PTSD treatment to re-associate negative stimulus with new images. It is not used in therapy for sexual assault.

“It doesn’t matter what is said,” Powell said. “It is not consensual. It’s an exploitation.”

Sommer had a license to practice from Idaho, where public records show it expired in 2017.

A spokesperson for Travis Air Force base told the Air Force Times: “The base hired Sommer through a contracting company in 2014 and he treated more than 100 people before being suspended on July 12, 2016.”

Sommer is back in court on May 25th.


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