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Stafford County Sheriff's Office

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Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 189
Stafford, VA 22555

Physical Address:
1225 Courthouse Rd.
Stafford, VA 22554


Stafford Alert

Stafford Sheriff’s Office Investigating Fake Psychologist
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By Public Information Officer Amanda Vicinanzo
May 16, 2019

Stafford, VA. Detectives with the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a woman who has been posing as a psychologist in Stafford for several years.

On Monday, May 6, 2019, Sharonda L. Avery, 42, of Spotsylvania was charged with obtaining money by false pretenses, passing a forged document, perjury and practicing psychology without a license.

In October 2018, the Sheriff’s Office received numerous complaints from victims in Stafford and nearby jurisdictions questioning whether Avery was a licensed psychologist. Several victims claimed that they or their children had been misdiagnosed by Avery.

During the ensuing investigation, Detective E.L. McCullough discovered that Avery was not a licensed psychologist in Virginia. Avery also claimed to have two doctorate degrees and a master’s degree, and the detective learned she did not have a degree from any college or university.

Avery had been employed as a psychologist at a medical practice in Stafford County. Her employment with the practice began in 2012. In that role, Avery has treated hundreds of children and adults. She was fired from the medical practice, which is no longer in business.

The perjury charge stems from an allegation that Avery testified in Stafford Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in 2017 while claiming to be a doctor.

She is currently incarcerated at Rappahannock Regional Jail and held without bond. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (540) 658-4400.

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