A former child psychologist who lives in Whiteford and practiced in Fallston pleaded guilty Monday to abusing three girls whom he was treating.
The day his trial was scheduled to start in Harford County Circuit Court, David Wayne Schrumpf, 44, of the 4400 block of Prospect Road, pleaded guilty to one count of child sex abuse and two counts of second degree assault of three girls he treated. Two of the victims were sisters.
The plea agreement with Schrumpf was announced by Harford County State's Attorney Joseph Cassilly.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, the state is seeking a six-year sentence to be served in the Maryland Division of Correction, according to a news release from Cassilly.
Schrumpf will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and voluntarily surrender his license to practice psychology.
He has agreed not to seek to be licensed as a child psychologist in any jurisdiction in which he may live and has also agreed not to have any contact with any child under the age of 18. He will also undergo sex offender treatment as recommended by the Department of Parole and Probation.
"In every single case I do, I have to remember I ultimately have to do what is best for the child victim," Assistant State's Attorney Diane Adkins Tobin, who prosecuted the case, said Monday afternoon. "A trial requires a very young child to come into court, testify, relieve the abuse in front of him... It's traumatic for an adult to do, let alone a child."
In this case, Tobin said, she was glad she didn't have to make the three girls testify and bring them into court. The girls' families are happy as well, she said.
Tobin said she is asking that Schrumpf be sentenced to six years in jail to "send a message that he's not above the law."
An equally important part of the plea, she explained, is that Schrumpf will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
"It's important for people in the community to be aware of who is living in their midst," Tobin said. "This man is a professional whose entire career has been geared toward working with children. We need to protect children, future generations of children from being abused by him."
Schrumpf had been accused in December of abusing one of his patients.
A 7-year-old girl whom Schrumpf had been treating told her mother that Schrumpf had touched her inappropriately during one of their treatment sessions. The mother questioned her other daughter, who was 10, who also said that Schrumpf, her doctor, touched her in private places.
In those cases, Schrumpf was charged with eight counts of sex abuse of a minor, eight counts of third-degree sex offense and eight counts of second-degree assault.
A third victim emerged during the investigation. A 9-year-old girl, also a patient of Schrumpf's, came forward said she was touched inappropriately.
In that case, Schrumpf was charged with sex abuse of a minor as continuing course of conduct and 10 counts of sex abuse of a minor.
Schrumpf had his psychology practice in the 2300 block of Belair Road in Fallston.
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 31 in Harford Circuit Court before Judge Maurice Baldwin.
Schrumpf is represented by Richard Karceski ofTowson.
The case was investigated by the Harford County Child Advocacy Center with the assistance of the Harford County Department of Social Services, the Harford County Sheriff's Office and the Maryland State Police.