Bothell hypnotherapist pleads not guilty to raping 18-year-old patient

by: John Knicely Updated:


BOTHELL, Wash. - A hypnotherapist hid in the back corner of a King County courtroom Monday as he waited his turn to face a judge. Ayhan Yavuz is charged with second-degree rape. Police say the married father of three admitted sexual contact with an 18-year-old male patient. The victim alleges it went even further and that he was forced to perform sex acts.

During arraignment hearings, suspects often sit in the courtroom benches, waiting their turn to enter a plea before a judge. On Monday morning, Yavuz stood in the back corner of the room and his father-in-law stood in front of him trying to shield him from the cameras.

KIRO 7 caught up to Yavuz in the hallway and asked him if he had sexual contact with the patient. Yavuz sat there stone-faced next to his wife, and his mother-in-law and father-in-law jumped in the way and said they would have no comment.

But his wife's parents couldn't shield him from the judge. Yavuz's attorney entered a plea of not guilty. The probable cause documents lay out the claims that Yavuz performed "energy therapy" on the teenager, which is a recognized holistic counseling approach. But the victim says he was asked to do strange things like take off his pants and underwear and touch Yavuz's crotch. The allegations say in subsequent visits the patient was forced to perform more graphic sex acts.

Yavuz's attorney said the victim exaggerated.

"It was during the course of the energy work that the contact took place, not to the degree the complaining witness alleged," she said.

Prosecutors said he is a predator who used his position as a counselor to commit sexual assault.

In trying to get the bond thrown out, Yavuz's attorney said many of his patients will speak highly of the care he gave. She also pointed out that he has three daughters under age 14 and is the sole provider of the family.

The judge reduced the bond from $50,000 to $30,000. If convicted, Yavuz could face up to 8 ½ years in prison.