August 22, 1995 in Idaho

Teenagers Say Chores Lead To Molestation Harrison Man Denies Charges, But Trial Ordered

By The Spokesman-Review
 

In quiet voices tinged with embarrassment, two teenage boys described Monday how a man claiming to be a psychiatrist molested them.

Larry Leombruno called his therapy “body balancing,” “brain wave synchronizing” and “closeness exercises,” the boys said. What he really offered, they said, was nude body massages, masturbation and oral sex.

Leombruno, 46, of Harrison, has been charged with two counts of sexual battery. On Monday, a judge ordered that he stand trial.

Leombruno, a married man and a convicted sex offender, insisted he has been falsely accused.

“Today is probably the worst day of my life,” he said after his preliminary hearing Monday. “I did not do anything inappropriate.”

Leombruno is not a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. He said he used to work as a behavioral therapist in California. Now, he sells herbal remedies and is an occasional hypnotherapist who specializes in drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

At Monday’s hearing, a 17-year-old boy told Judge Patrick McFadden that he worked for Leombruno in November or December.

The youth stacked wood and did other chores around Leombruno’s rural home.

The youth said Leombruno offered to do hypnotherapy on him. “He told me that I could learn different languages through hypnosis.”

Leombruno put headphones and dark sunglasses on the boy, who was lying on a bed. Colored lights set into the glasses flashed in the boy’s eyes, so he could not see out. “He told me there were pressure points he would have to push on to make me relax,” the boy said. “I said that’s fine. I figured he knew what he was doing.”

The boy said Leombruno massaged his clothed body and then put his hands down his pants.

The youth did not talk about what happened until several months later. That’s when his parents found out that Leombruno had been arrested for another crime, and questioned their son.

A Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputy arrested Leombruno on Aug. 4 after another teen reported being molested.

That 17-year-old boy told the judge Monday that Leombruno hired him to do chores in late July. The teen said Leombruno told him he was a psychiatrist.

The boy told his boss that he was addicted to drugs but would like to quit. So Leombruno used a technique called a “body balance” in which he massaged the teen, who wore only a towel. A couple days later the teen went back to Leombruno’s house for another “body balance,” the boy said. This time the man massaged his crotch, telling the boy he needed a sperm sample, the judge was told.

The teenager said Leombruno also had the teen put on the sunglasses with the lights, calling it a “brain wave synchronizer.”

The teen said that during one of the massages, he pulled off the glasses and found Leombruno giving him oral sex.

The teen said he fled. “I knew it was wrong,” he told the judge weakly.

Leombruno admitted in a Monday interview that he did use the lighted sunglasses. He says he was trying to help the first boy learn French and help the second teen with his drug problem.

Leombruno believes the flashing lights may have caused the youths to think strange things were happening to them when nothing was being done.

He also believes the second teen may have been upset at him because he criticized the boy’s work.

On Monday, Leombruno’s attorney, James Siebe, criticized the first teen’s story as inconsistent.

Leombruno admits he is a registered sex offender. He says that 17 years ago while he was living in California a 17-year-old boy made false accusations against him. Leombruno says he pleaded guilty to lewd conduct to avoid other charges.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo


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