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North Coast Psychiatrist Loses Medical License for Allegedly Drugging Female Patients, Sexually Assaulting Them and Raping One Woman

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A professional headshot of Cuyler Burns Goodwin on multiple websites associated with his former practice Sequoia Mind Health

⛔️ Please note the details in this story could be disturbing to many people. ⛔️

Earlier this month, North Coast psychiatrist Cuyler Burns Goodwin had his medical license revoked for allegedly sexually victimizing three patients, two while drugged— one allegedly raped moments before he escorted her to her caring husband who waited in the front lobby.

Cuyler Burns Goodwin had a successful career in front of him. As a trained psychiatrist, Goodwin opened Santa Rosa’s Sequoia Mind Health in July 2016 employing his wife, mother, and sister. The practice provided therapy in many forms to patients, including the use of the anesthetic, dissociative ketamine for depression and anxiety. 

Three years later, Sequoia Mind Health would be closed, and accusations against Goodwin would come to light in front of the Osteopathic Medical Board of California alleging sexual indiscretions during his time at Sequoia Mind Health.

While those accusations were investigated, he gained employment as a psychiatrist in the Mendocino County Jail, the Lake County jail, in Ukiah’s Redwood Quality Management Company, Sonoma County Behavioral Health, and John George Psychiatric Pavilion in San Leandro. 

On March 8, 2022, Goodwin’s license to practice was formally revoked by the Osteopathic Medical Board of California as a result of three different circumstances throughout the business’ three-year life-span between 2016- 2019. The decision becomes effective in two weeks on April 7.

A document issued by the Osteopathic Medical Board of California detailing these circumstances was obtained by MendoFever. All accusations in this article came from the document.  In the first circumstance, according to the document, Goodwin cheated on his then-wife with the sister of a patient, who was also married, impregnated her, and then prescribed abortion pills to get rid of the baby. In the second circumstance, Goodwin employed one of his ketamine therapy patients, asked her to stay after work for a glass of wine, and forced himself upon her, shoving his hand down her pants and putting his finger in her vagina. Finally, Goodwin drugged a patient with ketamine, asked her sexually inappropriate questions, then asked the intoxicated woman to take off her shirt so he could look at her breasts, raped her, and then delivered her to her husband who was patiently waiting in the front lobby.

Patient A and the Sister

In early 2017, according to the document, Patient A was 24-years-old living with his mother unable to work suffering from “auditory hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, suicidal ideation, agoraphobia, and severe panic attacks.” Patient A was close to his sister, her wealthy husband, and her children. 

Looking for a psychiatrist willing to make home visits to treat Patient A, the family sought out Goodwin who began treating Patient A on June 11, 2017. The sister would be the main point of contact between Goodwin and the family, paying him cash, and checking in with Goodwin before and after each session with Patient A.

One year into treatment with Goodwin, Patient A was reportedly “responding well” but was having a hard time dealing with his parent’s divorce and the fact his father was getting remarried. Patient A’s sister told Goodwin she was concerned these changes would have an adverse effect on her brother. Based on her concerns, Goodwin wrote a letter on January 12, 2018, characterizing Patient A’s improvement as “tenuous” and recommended he not be “introduced to situations that could be potentially destabilizing to him.” 

Nine months later, the affair with Patient A’s sister began after she had begun meeting him regularly at his office, walking, and talking about their troubled marriages. It would be November 2018 when Patient A’s sister became pregnant and she would beg the respondent to provide her with abortion medication, a request he obliged. 

In late December 2018, the affair and abortion were discovered by her husband and family, “throwing the entire family into turmoil.” Patient A’s sister was pressured into ending the relationship and in January 2019, members of Patient A’s family stormed Goodwin’s office “made a scene in the reception area” and demanded he end the relationship. 

The family visited a second time threatening to file complaints with the Board and “make negative statements in public.” Goodwin agreed to break it off on the condition they did not file a complaint–formalizing their agreement when Goodwin’s attorney sent the family a letter threatening both civil and criminal liability for extortion, libel, or slander if they did not abide by the agreement.

Goodwin and Patient A’s sister did not stop communicating. She created a private email account and the two continued speaking, planning to divorce their respective spouses. Despite threats of civil and criminal liability, in February Patient A’s mother and father would file complaints with the Board. In late February, Patient A’s sister would send a letter to the board admitting to the romantic relationship, explaining her family’s letters were a form of retaliation by them because they disapproved of the relationship, and praised Goodwin’s care for her brother. 

The sister would go on in later interviews to say Goodwin encouraged her to seek out the abortion pills from another doctor, that their relationship was not unethical because she was not his patient.

It was not until after July 2019 when Patient A’s sister began to admit her relationship with Goodwin was inappropriate and said it “spiraled into a catastrophe” harming many lives leading to her divorce, damage to her relationship with her family, and a loss in faith in psychiatry.

Patient B

Another complainant known as “Patient B” alleged they began treatment with Goodwin in June 2017 for anxiety. Goodwin reportedly hired Patient B as an office employee while treating her as a patient. Patient B’s treatment included administering ketamine, an anesthetic used to treat depression and anxiety. Once again, Goodwin’s actions would be said to violate “ethical principles and professional boundaries by having a dual relationship (doctor-patient and employer-employee) with Patient B.”

Goodwin would then allegedly ask Patient B “inappropriate sexual questions” while “under the influence of ketamine.” One evening after work, Goodwin reportedly offered Patient B wine after work, “kissed her, unbuttoned her pants, and penetrated her vagina with his finger.”

Patient B’s experience with Goodwin began in early June 2017 when she was seeking care for tapering off psychiatric medications and treatment for anxiety and depression. She disclosed to Goodwin that she had been the victim of multiple sexual assaults. 

By July 2017, she had successfully tapered off psychiatric medication. At that point, Goodwin hired her to work at Sequoia Mind Health performing administrative duties at the front desk. 

In August 2017, Patient B witnessed a traumatic event triggering her anxiety symptoms. Goodwin recommended ketamine treatment, she agreed, and between September and October, five separate ketamine therapeutic sessions occurred. Patient B testified that during these sessions, Goodwin asked her “inappropriate and intimate questions about her sexuality and her relationship with her boyfriend.” Goodwin also shared during these conversations he had carried on an extramarital affair. 

On January 12, 2018, Goodwin invited Patient B to stay after work and have a drink of wine in his office. They sat on a couch, talked, and Goodwin admitted he liked her then proceeded to kiss Patient B, unbutton her pants, put his hands down her pants, and “penetrated her vagina with his finger.” Initially freezing at the unwanted sexual contact, Patient B finally pushed Goodwin’s hand away and said “no” and left the office. 

Patient B proceeded to quit her job at Goodwin’s office in a text message that read, 

“As you’ve probably guessed, I’m no longer comfortable working with you anymore. Your behavior Friday night was completely inappropriate, especially given that I am both your patient and I work for you. In order to protect your family, I’m not saying anything to anyone. What I do need is a letter of recommendation from you, and I need to not in any way be blamed for this ….”

Goodwin responded with the following email: “And you’re 100% right. I completely understand. I’ll have that letter for you today, and will send it to your house. It will be glowing, because that’s what you deserve, and I would give you a glowing recommendation regardless.”

Five days after the sexual assault, Goodwin wrote the letter of recommendations with “many detailed and positive comments” stating that Patient B would make an “an excellent psychotherapist”, which she was at the time in graduate school to become a therapist.

In early February 2017, Goodwin received the following email from Patient B:

I was in shock the day that I was forced to quit my job. I hadn’t come to terms with the fact that I had just been sexually assaulted by you. [~] Now that I have had a few days to reflect and realize that I’m out of work because of your actions and behavior, I need to reach out. [~] Here are my options now: I can contact an attorney and file a sexual assault lawsuit, or I will request to receive 12 months of full severance pay since I was forced to quit my job due to your behavior and lose my only source of income. Please let me know which you prefer and we can go from there.

The following day, Patient B texted Goodwin that her friend had sent the email. She was not interested in any financial compensation saying, “I don’t need anything from you but a good reference.”

In July 2018, nearly seven months after the sexual assault, Patient B received a bill in the mail from Sequore Mind Health for the ketamine treatment in 2017 after it was denied by her insurance coverage. Patient B sent Goodwin a text message “Hey! Just received this bill from over a year ago. Due to the circumstances I will not be paying this bill” to which he said he would take care of it.

Patient B did not report Goodwin’s behavior to anyone at Sequoia Mind Health. Her immediate supervisor was Goodwin’s mother which she said would be “weird” to tell her. Goodwin told the other employees Patient B had quit due to the pressures of school work and asked them to not contact her because she “felt badly about it.” 

In the following year, a psychologist at Sequoia Mind Health named Pamela Albro became curious and contacted Patient B asking why she had quit. Patient B told her what had occurred and Dr. Albro asked if she could share Patient B’s name with another woman who had a similar experience. Patient B obliged resulting in a conversation with Patient C, who divulged Goodwin asked to see her breasts during ketamine treatment. 

In March 2019, according to the document, Patient B would file formal reports against Goodwin, file a police report describing the sexual assault, and call Goodwin’s wife to tell her about the experience. In May 2019, Goodwin’s lawyer would send Patient B a letter referencing the email demanding a year’s pay threatening “civil and criminal liability for extortion, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and libel.”

Patient C

Patient C began care at Sequoia Health Mind on May 11, 2017, following a suicide attempt. She was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. She disclosed to Goodwin she had experienced past sexual trauma and assault. Goodwin began managing Patient C’s medication and she began receiving therapy from Dr. Albro, a psychiatrist at Sequoia Mind Health. Goodwin hired Patient C in September 2017 to work full-time in an administrative assistant capacity. Over time she took on more duties including administering transcranial magnetic stimulation on patients. She would eventually be promoted to Front Office Administrator in January 2019. 

In late 2017, early on in Patient C’s time with Goodwin, he discussed the potential benefits of ketamine therapy followed by a series of seven ketamine treatments

According to the document, Patient C alleged that her first treatment was on December 6, 2017. She noticed the effects of the ketamine quickly saying she felt woozy, not herself, and out of it. She began to feel disassociated from her body and soon thereafter Goodwin began asking her about how many sex partners she had, whether she had sex with women, and what she and her husband did sexually. Patient C testified she answered the questions but grew increasingly uncomfortable with the nature of the questions. 

Goodwin asked her to remove her shirt and bra so he could see her breasts, which Patient C obliged, though she found it difficult due to her state. 

Goodwin then put headphones on Patient C playing oceans sounds and meditative music, and then pulled down her pants and proceeded to rape her, “putting his penis into her vagina.” During the rape, Patient C was “barely there” unable to speak, yell out, pick up her phone. She did testify that “I screamed in my head.” Goodwin finished and left the room. 

Patient C wiped herself, pulled up her pants, and was still feeling the effects of the ketamine and “felt afraid, ashamed, and she wanted to go home.” Goodwin returned to the office, walked Patient C out to the lobby where her husband waited to drive her home. 

Patient C told her husband about the inappropriate question and the fact she took of her shirt at Goodwin’s request but did not tell her husband about the rape due to feeling “confused and ashamed.”  She met with her therapist Dr. Albro and told her about the question and Goodwin’s request to see her breasts, but like her husband, did not tell Dr. Albro about the rape. 

When she finally testified openly about the rape, she told investigators that she initially withheld the rape from her husband and her psychiatrist because “she did not want the rape to be real and she would have to face it if she talked about it.”

Patient C did not tell anyone at Sequoia Mind Health about what occurred. There was no human resources staff other than Goodwin’s mother which she characterized as not a “safe space” to divulge what occurred. She continued to work at Sequoia Mind Health after the assault. When asked why, she said she “liked the job”, received pay raises, and “appreciated the ability to take time off or work from home if she was ill.” 

Just over a year after the rape, Patient C learned that Goodwin had been having an affair with the sister of Patient A when the sister’s family came to Sequoia Mind Health to confront Goodwin. The following month, Goodwin told the staff of Sequoia Mind Health he and his wife were separating. 

After the closure of Sequoia Mind Health, Goodwin would go on to work in various mental health care agencies along the North Coast.

Goodwin received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Sonoma State in 2007, a master’s of public health, and a doctorate in osteopathic medicine from Touro University in 2012. He became a board-certified psychiatrist after completing a residency at the University of California, San Francisco in June 2016.

It is important to remember that the circumstances described were not proven in a court of law, but their veracity was vetted by a number of expert witnesses who interviewed Goodwin, his employees, and the victims of the circumstances described above. Though some of the circumstances described are criminal in nature, there are no known charges filed against Goodwin at this point. 

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11 COMMENTS

    • This is bullshit, my therapist didn’t do shit for me, this guy gave them good drugs and pleasure and they complained? He even have them pretty much a prescription to cheat…. Anyone else slightly get turned on by this post….. No? me neither, sick bastard

  1. The injury and harm he has caused to so many seeking his help, he’s deserving of a long stay in prison. The sodomites will take good care of him!

  2. Why would any jail hire him knowing there is an active investigation? This makes absolutely no sense at all. They just put lots of people in harms way that already have major issues. So who knows what he did or said to them. I really hope he gets lots of jail time.

  3. Look at Bill Cosby, he was doing this for years and everyone turned their eyes away.
    He liked coma sutra, out cold.

  4. I can’t understand how he has been getting away with rape and assault and going on as if nothing happened! There is a very grungy situation going on here in Mendo with the places that employed him including the county jail and the Redwood Quality whatever, which has the stamp of approval from Mendocino County Administration. Shows the underbelly of our bureaucracy and powers that be, that they can’t, or won’t, look after the vulnerable people they are supposed to be serving. Our tax dollars paying to put our citizens in danger. I consider this fraud by Mendo bureaucracy. Also begs the question “Is this just the tip of the iceberg for this criminal?” I hope our sheriff looks into it but I won’t count on it.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
Educator🔸Reporter for KMUD/ Redheaded Blackbelt/Founder of Cold Case Mendocino🔹Local News Junkie

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