Waukesha therapist charged with sexual exploitation of client

A Waukesha therapist has been charged with felony sexual exploitation of a client, accused of having an ongoing relationship between December 2020 and June 2021.

Prosecutors say Kristina Daul, 42, of Waukesha engaged in multiple sexual acts with a client – and admitted to having a relationship.

On Aug. 3, a sheriff's department detective received a referral about a licensed therapist, previously employed with Waukesha County Health and Human Services (HHS), who had been in a sexual relationship with a client.

The victim had been getting alcohol and drug treatment through the county's Drug Treatment Court. As part of her therapy, a criminal complaint states, the victim received treatment from a county HHS therapist – identified by authorities as Daul.

A witness told detectives that, after years of seeing Daul as a therapist, she stopped receiving therapy because Daul began referring to another client during sessions. The witness, according to the complaint, was worried that Daul was also sharing information from their sessions with other clients.

The witness knew the victim for about five years, and at one point was the victim's drug therapy sponsor, according to the complaint. That sponsorship stopped following an incident in 2020.

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In July 2021, the witness said the victim disclosed a sexual relationship that had developed with her therapist, Daul. According to the witness, the victim expressed concern that Daul was changing treatment plans as a way of "manipulating or influencing" her. The victim said the changes to treatment typically came when they were "fighting or not getting along in their personal relationship." One such "fight" arose when Daul learned of one of her client's former relationship with the victim.

The victim said, according to the complaint, that she and Daul would engage in sexual acts in Daul's office after sessions. The victim estimated it happened three to five times a week. The acts later transitioned to each of their homes. It continued intermittently until July 2021.

According to the complaint, the victim suspected they were never caught because Daul would place a "do not disturb" sign on the door – acting as if they were in session – when not at either person's home.

During the course of their relationship, the victim told detectives that she "became privy" to "protected health information" of 20-30 of Daul's patients. 

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Detectives reviewed some of Daul's social media account posts and found multiple references to relationships with a client. In the posts and comments, Daul insisted she maintained a professional relationship, but later "chose LOVE over Ethics – which was wrong of me."

In August 2021, the complaint states Daul filed a temporary restraining order against the victim. In the petition for that order, Daul admitted that the victim was her "ex-girlfriend" or "ex-partner" and had lost her job with Waukesha County HSS as a result of their relationship. Daul also alleged that there was mutual abuse between the two of them. During a restraining order hearing, Daul again admitted to violating an ethical code, and the law.

In a voluntary interview with the detectives, the complaint states, Daul again admitted to the sexual relationship with the victim. She said she agreed to the sexual relationship "because she didn't want to ‘jeopardize’" the victim's recovery. She also said that the law and her ethical responsibility were "black and white" and if she went to jail because what she did was wrong, "then so be it."

Daul made an initial court appearance on Oct. 15, and a judge set bond at $50,000. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 19.

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