An Orem hypnotherapist who pleaded no contest to two Class A misdemeanor counts of gross lewdness in which he was accused of fondling two patients was sentenced Wednesday in 4th Circuit Court to 30 days in the Utah County Jail.
Judge John C. Backlund sentenced Elbert Clifford Webb, owner of Personal Success Institute, to one year in prison and fined him $2,500 on each count but stayed the sentences and ordered Webb to serve two concurrent terms of 30 days in jail. Webb must serve the jail time in 48-hour increments and must serve the 30 days by the end of July.Backlund also ordered Webb to pay fines and fees totaling $750 and ordered him to pay up to $400 for therapy for the victims.
Investigators said Webb fondled two female patients during separate therapy sessions about three years ago.
The women say they remember the incidents because the sessions were interrupted and they were not brought out of hypnosis in the normal way. In letters to the court, the women said they were fondled more than once by Webb.
Webb admitted touching the women's breasts but said it was consensual and part of experimental breast-enlargement therapy.
However, in sentencing Webb, Backlund said Webb's conduct was inappropriate and done for sexual gratification.
Webb is well-known for conducting seminars on self-improvement through hypnosis. He conducts group therapy sessions that encourage people to lose weight and stop smoking. He has also worked with the Brigham Young University football team and the Orem Police Department.