Skip navigation

Washington Psychologist Suspended After Prostitute Steals Laptop with Clients’ Information

Washington Psychologist Suspended After Prostitute Steals Laptop with Clients’ Information

by Joe Watson

A psychologist who was contracted to evaluate Washington state prisoners was first placed on probation by the state's Department of Health for unprofessional conduct and then had his credentials suspended in October 2013 after having his laptop stolen by a prostitute, jeopardizing his clients' confidentiality.

Sunil Kakar, a 46-year-old Gig Harbor, Washington, psychologist, was allegedly impaired by alcohol and drugs when he exhibited "unusual behaviors" at a state prison where he worked in April 2011. According to health department documents, Kakar would not leave an area where a prisoner was being strip-searched, and he threatened to assault another prisoner's boyfriend.

Just three months later, after being ordered to get treatment for alcohol and marijuana dependency, Kakar was arrested for driving under the influence and marijuana possession, charges that were later reduced to second-degree negligent driving.

As a result, Kakar's license to practice was placed on probation for five years, by the health department's Examining Board of Psychology in July 2013, and he was ordered to submit to drug testing and treatment for up to seven years.

By the time Kakar had agreed to probation, however, he had already violated his contract and lied to Gig Harbor police in February 2013 about the theft of his laptop, which contained medical information for hundreds of Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) clients.

Initially, Kakar told police and DSHS that the laptop was stolen from his truck. Later, he confessed and "explained to police that the laptop was stolen by a prostitute while (he) went to an ATM," according to court records.

Though the laptop and its privileged client data – including psychological evaluations and mental incapacity exams—were later recovered by police at a pawn shop, Kakar sent letters of apology to 652 affected DSHS clients.

The board determined, however, that by then Kakar's actions had already placed both current and potential clients "at risk." Reportedly, Kakar's clients had been required "to repeatedly re-disclose events that were unpleasant and even traumatic for them" and had their access to care delayed.

The board added that Kakar posed an "immediate danger to the public" and "no lesser restrictive alternative"—other than the suspension of his license—"would adequately protect other clients."

Kakar had been licensed as a psychologist since 2004, but it was unknown how long he had contracted with the state. See: In re Sunil K. Kakar, Wash. Dept. of Health, Examining Board of Psychology, Master case no. M2013-919.

Sources:, In re Sunil K. Kakar, Ex Parte Order of Summary Action

Related legal case

In re Sunil K. Kakar, Wash. Dept. of Health