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Grand Haven psychologist’s license suspended

The psychologist was sentenced to jail in May for attempted fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Grand Haven psychologist William Kooistra has lost his license. In May, Kooistra was sentenced...
Grand Haven psychologist William Kooistra has lost his license. In May, Kooistra was sentenced to 45 days for attempted fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.(Ottawa County)
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 11:12 AM EST
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(WILX) - Tuesday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Orlene Hawks, director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced a Grand Haven psychologist who was sentenced to jail in May for attempted fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct recently had his psychology license suspended for at least three years.

The Board of Psychology’s Disciplinary Subcommittee approved a consent order and stipulation for William Kooistra on Dec. 17, resulting in Kooistra’s license to practice psychology in Michigan suspended for a minimum of three years. The subcommittee’s action also required Kooistra to pay a fine of $25,000.

If Kooistra wishes to return to practice, he must petition the Board of Psychology for reinstatement consistent with the requirements of the Public Health Code.

“Mr. Kooistra is a clear example of an authority figure who took advantage of his position by preying on a vulnerable victim, and he must be held accountable for those actions,” said Nessel. “While jail sentences are appropriate for crimes of this nature, licensing sanctions are equally important, and I am grateful for the work of LARA and the attorneys in my office to ensure the regulations governing professional practice are enforced.”

Kooistra owned and operated his own practice in Grand Haven. In 2014, he began treating a patient and, under the guise of “body work therapy,” initiated a sexual relationship with the patient. That patient terminated the therapy in 2018 and subsequently filed a police report.

In March 2020, LARA suspended Kooistra’s license and he was charged by the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. In May, Kooistra pleaded guilty to attempted fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to 45 days in jail by the 58th District Court.

“Licensed practitioners are required to follow the rules and regulations of this state and abide by a professional code of conduct,” said Hawks. “When the professionals in our communities who are expected to care for others violate their duties and obligations, disciplinary action is necessary. I appreciate the Attorney General’s support throughout this process.”

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