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AG NEWS Grand Haven Psychologist's License Suspended

LANSING – A Grand Haven psychologist who was sentenced to jail in May for attempted fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct recently had his psychology license suspended for at least three years, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Orlene Hawks, the director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), announced today.

The Board of Psychology’s Disciplinary Subcommittee approved a consent order and stipulation for William Kooistra on Dec. 17, suspending Kooistra’s license to practice psychology in Michigan for a minimum of three years. The subcommittee’s action also required Kooistra to pay a $25,000 fine. If Kooistra wants to return to practice, he must petition the Board of Psychology for reinstatement consistent with the requirements of the Public Health Code.

“Mr. Kooistra is a clear example of an authority figure who took advantage of his position by preying on a vulnerable victim, and he must be held accountable for those actions,” Nessel said. “While jail sentences are appropriate for crimes of this nature, licensing sanctions are equally important, and I am grateful for the work of LARA and the attorneys in my office to ensure the regulations governing professional practice are enforced.”

“Licensed practitioners are required to follow the rules and regulations of this state and abide by a professional code of conduct,” Hawks said. “When the professionals in our communities who are expected to care for others violate their duties and obligations, disciplinary action is necessary. I appreciate the Attorney General’s support throughout this process.”

Kooistra owned and operated his own practice in Grand Haven. In 2014, he began treating a patient and – under the guise of “body work therapy” – initiated a sexual relationship with the patient, who terminated the therapy in 2018 and subsequently filed a police report.

In March 2020, LARA summarily suspended Kooistra’s license and he was charged by the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. In May, Kooistra pleaded guilty to attempted fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to 45 days in jail by the 58th District Court.