Psychologist formerly convicted of sex crime against teen boy faces new allegations

(WXYZ) - He was the subject of a 7 Action News Investigation and now a psychologist who got his license back after being convicted of a sex crime is facing new allegations.

Dr. Julian Gordon spent 13 years in prison for raping a boy he was supposed to be counseling.

He’s claimed to both the state and to the 7 Investigators that’s he’s a reformed man who has paid his dues to society. 

But now Dr. Gordon is nursing some stab wounds after another male patient says he fought back after the psychologist tried to sexually assault him.

Dr. Gordon was once a leading psychologist in the Oakland County court system until he was sent to prison for 13 years - convicted of molesting and raping one of his patients: a 13-year-old boy.  We’re calling him Tommy to protect his identity, and Tommy is now a man who says he’ll be forever haunted by Dr. Gordon’s sexual assaults.

“Nobody should ever have to go through that,” Tommy told 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo.

He thought Dr. Gordon would never practice again. But after the psychologist got out of prison – the state gave him his license back. 

As the 7 Investigators first revealed last year, Dr. Gordon was one of 44 convicted sex offenders in Michigan who either had been approved to get a health care or counseling license reinstated.

Our undercover cameras caught Dr. Gordon working at a methadone clinic in Detroit. 

“He was my counselor,” said Tony Esparza. Esparza says when he got assigned to Dr. Gordon for counseling at the Nardin Park Recovery Center, he had no clue about the 56-year-old’s criminal history.

Esparza says during his time at the methadone clinic, Dr. Gordon would buy him gifts and give him money.  Esparza says Gordon then offered to help the recovering heroin addict get back on his feet -- but there was a catch.

“He said he had all these jobs that he could get me, only if I could move in with him, he couldn’t help me from Detroit,” said Esparza.

So while he was still a patient, the 27-year-old says he moved in to a condo in Waterford Township where Dr. Gordon was living.  But Esparza says the job never materialized and the promises were not kept.

“He started to give me back massages, that I was uncomfortable with. He began to hug me every night, he wanted a hug before bed. And these weren’t normal hugs,” said Esparza.

Esparza says then he started waking up to find Dr. Gordon in bed with him.  Esparza says he tried to get away, but felt trapped.

“He knew what he was doing!  I mean, he got me so far gone, cut off from everyone, before he started to make any bold moves, where he knew – I didn’t have a play! I was stuck,” said Esparza.

On May 11, Esparza says Gordon finally went too far.

“I think he really thought he was going to have sex with me that night. I could not allow him to touch me like that. Not like that, not anymore,” said Esparza.

Esparza says he fought back, and using a knife, struck out at Dr. Gordon.

According to this police report, Dr. Gordon had deep cuts on his left arm and left leg. 

The Oakland County Prosecutor denied the warrant for Esparza’s arrest, due to “probable self-defense from sexual advance.”

“You’re talking about someone who’s in an inherently vulnerable position, just by virtue of being a patient,” said Oakland University Medical Ethicist Dr. Jason Wasserman.  Dr. Wasserman says there are clear-cut ethical rules that doctors and therapists must follow.

“The power position that person is in, is supposed to be used for therapeutic ends.  If it’s used for other purposes… the patient’s very susceptible to that and it can be extremely damaging,” said Dr. Wasserman.

As for Dr. Gordon, even though the Michigan Sex Offender Registry lists his address at the Waterford Township condo he was sharing with Esparza, we found him somewhere else:  at a home in Birmingham. 

Dr. Gordon tried to tell Catallo that he didn’t get stabbed – but she could see that his left arm was heavily bandaged.  Gordon refused to discuss Tony Esparza.

“He’s never going to stop. And next time it won’t be a 27-year-old… It’s going to be a 5-year-old, a 6-year-old, a 7-year-old this time,” said Esparza.

State records show that when Julian Gordon asked an administrative judge in Lansing for his psychology licenses to be reinstated, he said “after years of contemplation, I feel I understand enough… to successfully manage myself… and prevent relapse.”

Dr. Gordon’s first victim didn’t buy that and neither does Tony Esparza.

“He needs to be off the streets.  I know – I lived with him. I know his maneuvers, I know his game, and he’s good at it,” said Esparza.

Since we the 7 Investigators did our original investigation, the law has changed in Michigan.  Starting July 1st, if a health care worker is convicted of sexually assaulting a patient – they will not be allowed to get their license back.

As for Dr. Gordon’s living arrangements, right now police are investigating to determine if Dr. Gordon’s presence at the Birmingham address is a violation of the sex offender registry rules.

Esparza has filed a complaint with the state that approved Dr. Gordon’s license reinstatement.

If you have a tip for Heather, please email her at or call 248-827-4473.

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