No verdict in therapist's trial

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Jurors continue to deliberate in the trial of Cliff Tillery, a former therapist charged with sexually assaulting a former patient in his Norcross office.

While no one argues that the sex was consensual, prosecutors believe Tillery preyed upon the psychological wounds of the alleged victim, a Gwinnett County preschool teacher, in order to engage in sexual activity more than 20 times in six months, beginning in 2007.

As a result of the charges, Tillery, the owner of Bright Horizons Inc., lost his practice as a licensed counselor working with drug addicts, sex addicts and alcoholics.

Tillery spent more than 20 years in the field before surrendering his license after his July 2008 arrest.

The woman, 32, said she met Tillery at a church where she was seeking Alcoholics Anonymous groups. After relapsing, she said, she sought Tillery's help. She testified that about a month into her therapy, Tillery's advances began.

The Daily Post does not identify alleged victims of sex abuse.

Authorities believe the alleged assaults are isolated incidents.

After less than a day and a half of testimony, the jury began deliberating just before noon Wednesday and was released by Superior Court Judge Melodie Snell Conner at about 6:45 p.m.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Taylor said deliberations are scheduled to continue today at 9 a.m.

Staff writer Josh Green contributed to this report.