HIPAA Did Not Preclude Psychotherapist from Reporting That 16-Year-Old Boy Saw Child Pornography on His Father's Home Computer

United States v. Mathis, 377 F. Supp. 2d 640 (M.D. Tenn. 2005)

A sixteen-year-old boy disclosed to his psychotherapist that he saw (1) pornographic images of children on his father's computer at home and (2) his father sitting naked at his computer in front of a webcam.  Although there was no indication the father had sexually abused his son, the psychotherapist reported the disclosure to law enforcement authorities, which ultimately led to the arrest of the father. The father asserted that this report violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and, thus, all evidence generated as a result of this report, including a search of the father's computer, should be suppressed...

Found in DMHL Volume 25 Issue 1