Marriage Counselor Sex Assault Trial Continues - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Marriage Counselor Sex Assault Trial Continues



    Sheila Loven, the marriage counselor charged with sexual assault for using her position as a licensed counselor to have sex with a male client, was back in court Thursday. (Published Friday, Feb. 15, 2013)

    The trial continued on Thursday of a North Texas marriage counselor charged with sexual assault, accused of abusing her power to take advantage of a client.

    Sheila Loven was a licensed counselor at the time she had been charged with sexual assault. She is currently standing trial for allegedly using her influential position to convince a couple to divorce and then have sex with the husband.

    Throughout Thursday's trial the husband testified. He detailed the issues in his marriage, why he and his wife went to counseling, and how the sexual relationship with Loven, started, continued and ended. But the man, who NBC 5 will not identify, said if he only knew what Loven was up to he wouldn't have done it.

    "If you had the knowledge that you had on Sept. 19, 2009, would you have ever had sex with Sheila Loven?" Asked Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Sean Colston. "No," the victim testified.

    The husband said he entered into marriage counseling because that is what his wife wanted and he wanted to keep his marriage together. He testified that he and his wife were manipulated in separate counseling sessions by the defendant, Loven, and those manipulations eventually led the victim into going to a night club with Loven.

    He said Loven touched him inappropriately at the time, but he thought it was merely an accident. In the days that followed, the victim went to Loven's house to bring her some supplies. That's when he said Loven first kissed him and he kissed back.

    "I kissed her, then I was like oh (expletive), what have I done?" said the victim.

    The kiss then led to to a sexual relationship that ended only after Loven told the victim's wife about the affair. The husband and wife reconciled when they realized what was going on, although the two have since divorced.

    Loven's defense attorney tried to get the victim to paint the relationship as purely consensual, and one that isn't coerced.

    "You were a willing participate in that," asked attorney Mark Scott.

    "Nobody had showed me attention like that in months and here, yes, my counselor," the victim testified.

    The victim also said Loven told him she loved him repeatedly. It's affection the victim testified he liked because he was having a rocky stretch in his marriage.

    "Finally, I just started saying it (I love you) because I didn't know what to say, I wanted her to say," the victim testified. "She keeps saying it and I didn't know what to say."

    But the victim ultimately wanted to get back together with his wife.

    "I still felt like I was connected to my wife and it felt like I was doing something wrong here with Sheila," the victim testified.

    During the second day of the trial, prosecutors presented threatening and sexually explicit texts the couple believed were from Loven.

    A representative from Sprint took the stand Thursday to testify about cell phone numbers and usage. 

    The trial will resume on Friday afternoon and could last until Tuesday, that's in part because Monday is a holiday.