Mervin L. Bontrager

Kansas Mennonite social worker’s license removed

Mervin Bontrager (b. 1939), a licensed clinical social worker at the time, sexually harassed/abused a client in the early 2000s at Prairie View mental health center. A client reported the misconduct to Prairie View in January 2018, and Bontrager was found to have violated four state regulations. His license was permanently revoked by the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board in July 2018.

Prairie View’s report to the regulatory board stated that Bontrager “had engaged in sexual relations” with his client in Bontrager’s office.

When questioned by Prairie View, Bontrager initially denied the allegations. Four days later, he sent a letter to Prairie View in which he “admitted to the ‘charges’ and accepted full responsibility.”

Bontrager also stated that he had rescinded his license and mailed it to the regulatory board, which noted that, “contrary to Respondent’s assertion, “[he] did not ‘rescind’ or ‘surrender’ his license to the Board.”

In 2020, Prairie View’s website and Facebook page still featured a retirement profile of Bontrager from August 2017, without accompanying announcement of his misconduct while working there.

The profile noted that Bontrager “worked with patients who experienced depression, anxiety, marital and relationship issues – usually adults and some adolescents in his past years. He focused primarily on significant relationship issues, whether in a marriage or family.”

MAP contacted Prairie View in 2020, noting the retirement profile and asking for any available documentation related to Bontrager’s misconduct or their handling of it, including copies of any relevant Prairie View policies.

After acknowledging the request, Prairie View removed the retirement profile from their website and sent a statement to MAP, but did not provide further documentation.

Church-related positions

  • Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker, Prairie View, Inc. (a Mennonite-affiliated psychiatric hospital), Newton, Kansas, 1967–2017
  • Member, Whitestone Mennonite Church, Hesston, Kansas


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