A YSU psychology professor is on paid administrative leave after pleading not guilty to child endangering and disorderly conduct charges after allegedly injuring a six-year-old boy while working at a private counseling center in Boardman.

Dr. Stephen Flora, 57, of Youngstown entered the written plea in Mahoning County Court in Boardman.

Flora was charged after a woman told police that Flora aggressively handled her six-year-old son at the Progressive ABA Therapy Group on Market Street.

The woman told police that her son has been diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, autism, and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder.

Staff at the center told investigators that on August 25, that Flora came out of his office several times when the child repeatedly kicked a wall near the office.

Witnesses told police that Dr. Flora picked up the boy by his armpits, placing him in a chair, and continued restraining the child’s legs, even though the boy said Flora was hurting him.

The boy’s mother told police that her son had bruises under both armpits, his legs, and his upper back.  Although she did not take the boy for medical treatment, she told police that his behavior has changed due to trauma from the incident.

Owners of the business have fired Flora, according to the report.

According to Youngstown State University’s faculty directory, Flora is a Professor of Psychological Sciences and Counseling at the Beeghly College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and Education.

The University’s website says Flora’s areas of expertise include Behavior Analysis and Autism treatment. 

University officials say Dr. Flora has been placed on paid administrative leave.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Flora on November 2.