Psychotherapist accused of sex crimes at children’s hospital appears in court

Mickey Harden is charged with two counts of object sexual penetration by force
Mickey Harden 1.PNG
Posted at 4:34 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 18:23:59-05

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. -- A psychotherapist accused of sex crimes at a Virginia children’s hospital appeared in New Kent County Circuit Court Monday, less than a week after he was indicted by a grand jury.

Herschel “Mickey” Harden is charged with two counts of object sexual penetration by force. The 72-year-old is a psychotherapist at Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents.

Investigators say the crimes happened in 2018 and 2019, and the Virginia Attorney General’s office confirms that the victim was a former female patient at the New Kent hospital.

CBS 6 has been looking into complaints regarding Cumberland Hospital for the last six months.

CBS 6 first reported that Virginia State Police have been investigating multiple allegations of abuse and neglect at Cumberland Hospital since 2017.

Related: Psychotherapist at Virginia children’s hospital arrested for sex crimes

Related: CBS 6 investigation uncovers child abuse, neglect allegations at Virginia children’s hospital

During Monday morning’s brief hearing, the judge mentioned the seriousness of the crimes that harden is facing, and the potential for a substantial prison sentence if convicted.

Harden said he had not retained an attorney yet, but had engaged in talks with a lawyer who was at the courthouse for another case.

The judge then told harden to obtain legal counsel, and continued the case until February 24, where a trial date will likely be set.

The Attorney General’s office is prosecuting the case against Harden, who remains out on bond.

Cumberland Hospital CEO Gay Brooks tells CBS 6 that Harden voluntarily resigned from the hospital in September 2019.

“We only became aware of the allegations against him after he had resigned. We offer our sympathies to any victim of child abuse, including the alleged victim in this indictment, and will continue to cooperate fully in any investigation of Mr. Harden’s conduct at Cumberland Hospital,” Brooks wrote in a statement.

The Attorney General’s office is asking anyone with information about the allegations against Harden, or other allegations at Cumberland Hospital, to contact the Virginia State Police’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations at (804) 537-6788.

Related: Girl’s graphic drawings at center of sexual abuse investigation into director of children’s hospital