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Therapist's bizarre behavior reported prior to sex-abuse charges

Two women in his office building walked into police headquarters on March 23, 2012, to report that he had been in the hall crying and yelling obscenities into his cellphone, the police report indicates.

He’d been having emotional outbursts for at least a month, would smoke in the corridors and sometimes sleep in his office, “acting in a manner that has been disturbing to other people in the building,” the report says.

Since Bernardini was not accused of a crime, no investigation was ordered into his behavior, which flared as he was facing eviction from an office at 65 Pondfield Road.

It wasn’t until last week that Bronxville police received a far more disturbing allegation about the 57-year-old. A 12-year-old male patient, immediately after a 45-minute session with Bernardini on July 2 in his new office on Milburn Street, cried to his father that he’d been sodomized.

The Yonkers boy’s parents drove him to the police station. Bernardini, after voluntarily speaking with detectives, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual act, a felony.

Even more alarming, it was his second abuse charge in a month.

On June 3, he was arrested in North Salem after a 19-year-old female patient accused him of fondling her breasts during a counseling session in his home.

When state police came to arrest him, they said, they found Bernardini, dirty, disheveled and barefoot, chatting with a worker outside his rented apartment beside a barn on Peach Lake Road.

“He didn’t seem like any type of therapist to me,” said Investigator John Rodriguez. “If someone told me he was homeless, I would have believed it. He smelled like he hadn’t showered in days.”

Entering his apartment, Rodriguez said, there was garbage all over the sticky floor, mounds of dirty clothes and a week’s worth of dishes in the sink.

“You actually bring people in here?” Rodriguez said he asked the therapist. “The place is disgusting.”


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