LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Anybody can have a bad relationship with their therapist, but this particular relationship was so alarming FOX 4 Problem Solvers decided to investigate. What they discovered is a therapy office that looks legitimate enough from the outside until you peel back the layers and discover the truth.
Moses Artis was more interested in his key fob than in talking to FOX 4 Problem Solvers. Artis works as a family counselor and was in court asking for a restraining order against a former client. A man he said has threatened him. But that former client tells FOX 4 Problem Solvers that all he did was try to expose Artis as a fraud and a liar.
It's a story that starts at Lee's Summit Marriage and Family Center. That's where a man, who asked us only to identify him as Aaron, came to Moses for couples counseling. Fairly quickly, Aaron said, there were signs something wasn't right.
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"I about fell out of my chair when he asked me if I had any nude photos or videos of my girlfriend. He would like me to bring them into his office. I knew right then and there that an ethical or moral mental health professional would never ask for that."
David Robbins is Aaron's new therapist and was so alarmed by Aaron's story that he checked out Moses Artis' license with the state board of Marriage and Family Therapists and discovered he didn't have one.
In fact, according to these court records, Moses Artis isn't even eligible for a therapy license because he's been convicted of multiple felonies, including burglary.
So how does a guy like that end up getting a job as a therapist?
He gets hired by another unlicensed therapist who also has a troubling past, Ron Leymaster. According to court records, Leymaster was denied a license in South Dakota, Iowa and Missouri. In January, Leymaster received a letter from the state ordering him to immediately close his practice. But when FOX 4 Problem Solvers visited Leymaster's office in April, he was still in business.
The state of Missouri wrote Leymaster that he was barred from ever getting a license because he had worked illegally as a therapist for more than 20 years, lacked the required education and had even admitted to having a romantic relationship with a client.
A FOX 4 Problem Solvers investigation uncovered that Leymaster was sued by four patients when he worked out of a now-closed Kansas City counseling center named "Matrix." In the Matrix lawsuits, Leymaster is accused of everything from brainwashing to oral sex by former patients. The lawsuits, in which Leymaster was one of multiple people being sued, were settled before trial with Matrix agreeing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.
Robbins said both men need to be held accountable for continuing to practice despite orders from the state to cease. FOX 4 Problem Solvers attempted on multiple occasions to talk to both Leymaster and Artis, but neither would answer our questions or return our phone calls. However, in court filings, Leymaster has maintained his innocence regarding every allegation against him and he's challenging the state's refusal to license him.
- To check Missouri licenses for professionals, click here
- To check information about therapists in Kansas, click here
- To make file a complaint about a therapist operating without a license in Missouri, click here