Lawsuit by Scholar's Family Against University of Illinois Counselors Dismissed

A central Illinois judge has dismissed for a second time a lawsuit filed by the estate of a slain visiting Chinese scholar against two social workers at a University of Illinois counseling center.

Champaign County Circuit Judge Jason Bohm wrote Wednesday what happened to Yingying Zhang was unconscionable. However, counselors Thomas Miebach and Jennifer Maupin didn't cause or contribute to her death.

Zhang’s family has argued Miebach and Maupin should have done more when Brendt Christensen told them months before her disappearance of his fascination with serial killers and he had purchased items to move and dispose of a body

“To be sure, Christensen made disturbingly ugly comments to Miebach and Maupin,” Bohm wrote. However, “the law cannot impose upon mental health professionals a duty to break their patient’s confidence simply because what the patient reveals is revolting."

After a similar federal lawsuit was dismissed in December, it was refiled in January in state court and the university again moved to have it dismissed.

Christensen was found guilty of abducting Zhang from a bus stop in June 2017, then raping, choking and stabbing her before beating her to death with a bat and decapitating her. He is serving a life sentence.

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