The following article may be triggering for certain demographics to read. The article contains references to reported abuses of power and allegations of sexual assault at the hands of a licensed therapist and social worker.
Bazaar Daily America after more than a year of investigating this story has decided to publish a stunning expose on a pair of sexual assault allegations involving a licensed social worker and now therapist identified as Damien Wade.
The following article you are about to read contains heartbreaking passages and reader discretion is advised.
Beginning in 2018, the victim whom we will only identify as John Doe for purposes of this article was enrolled in a domestic violence shelter in New York City. Bazaar Daily America was provided photographs from inside of the program; and documents verifying that John Doe lived there, and eventually became associated with a social worker by the name of Damien Wade LCSW.
Medical records reviewed by this newspaper revealed that weeks after Wade’s employment began at the mentioned program (which we will not identify for the safety of Mr Doe; past clients, or present clients) — he was accused of abusing his position and sexually assaulting a client identified as the same John Doe in the program’s office after hours. Social media messages further reviewed by this newspaper unearthed that Wade had secretly grown infatuated with John Doe leading up to the alleged assault that led them to contemplate ending their life due to the profound grief and trauma they experienced after realizing they had been sexually assaulted.
‘The medication was so strong at the time to help with the grief from the crash I didn’t know any better. There was no way I could’ve consented to having sex with anyone at that particular time’ they claimed to other social workers at the time according to additional documents obtained by Bazaar America.
The messages obtained from Grindr threads revealed that Wade allegedly sent numerous messages to them; he according to the messages then began to engage in shocking sexual conversation with Mr. Doe while they had begun psychiatric treatment while en-residence due to a previous devastating car crash.
‘He knew I had just started medication to overcome the serious grief and anxiety that a car crash had left me with and then having been a domestic violence survivor. That night haunts me often and I remember it vividly. It was pizza night and they had allowed us to stay up late and Damien had been super friendly for some reason. I had felt very uncomfortable already because he had grown too friendly and had repeatedly asked to use my computer despite having one of his own feet away in the front office. It did not matter to him. He sent me numerous Grindr messages (later that evening) after he knew everyone was asleep claiming to have known me from the past, but the man is significantly older than I am I would’ve been too young for him anytime before this period.’ the victim said over the phone in emotional chats with Bazaar Daily.
During the occurrence, the same messages revealed that the victim did attempt to question Wade as to where they knew each other, however, Wade never appeared to have provided a concrete answer. Because Wade now at the time worked at the very program in which Mr Doe temporarily resided pending a domestic violence case, Mr Doe thought it was best to figure out what was going on so he attempted to engage in conversation and eventually went to the front office to ask him directly.
However, that did not happen the way it was supposed to. Following the messages, Mr. Doe claims that Wade locked the door behind them in the office after he had secretly traveled to a nearby 7 11 to obtain alcoholic beverages he would later consume on the premises. The same drinks were later used to sexually assault Mr Doe in the back office which was kept as something that resembled a bedroom. Mr Doe as it was reported to other shelter staff after discovering that there were separate allegations against Wade already which prompted Mr Doe to finally inform the head staff.
In a huge turn of events, Bazaar Daily America obtained the police reports for this case out of Manhattan that year during the onset of this investigation. The police document shows that Mr Doe reported the assault to the NYPD in the presence of another social worker who also worked at the same program. According to Mr Doe, the NYPD was never able to follow up because Wade allegedly fled town and moved to Washington DC where it is now understood that Wade still works with vulnerable people and may work with other similar demographics.
An attempt by Bazaar Daily America to confirm whether or not police attempted to pursue this case was unsuccessful. Bazaar Daily America reached out to Talkspace before the publication of this expose who in a comment stated that an investigation into the claims would be taken seriously and looked into promptly.
The same claims were investigated by the Department of Education according to a cache of files obtained by this outlet. The department never pursued any formal action against Wade despite the serious allegations — because Wade initially denied ever having sent the messages despite his facial photograph being present; his registered cell phone number (which we verified through public records) provided to Mr. Doe in the chat, along with clearly legible messages that indicate the two were nearby each other (Grindr is a location-based gay app for LGBTQ+ men and persons to meet each other.)
‘When he got fired after I came forward I did not immediately know that he had fled. At the time, I discovered that I was not his only victim. He had already had and had such for a while an inappropriate relationship with someone else there. He was confronted about that along with what he did to me — and threatened to harm and kill me over the phone because I had come forward. He was never seen in New York City again after he made those threats. It has haunted me ever since because I did what I was supposed to do after having been sexually assaulted and took it to the police, and the NYPD failed me.’ a second statement reads.
If you or someone you know has suffered any form of abuse at the hands of a licensed professional you are not alone. There is help and you can confidentially report your claims to most state agencies in the United States. For help, you can call the National Sexual Abuse Hotline by clicking here.