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Published: Friday, 3/26/2010

Support facility has new name

Rusty's House, a West Toledo support facility for teens and young adults trying to recover from substance abuse, is now simply "R House."

While the change may look like an abbreviation of the late Rusty James Marvin's first name, it's not.

Ken Phillips, a Toledo lawyer who recently became R House president, has said the facility became "our" house to those who inherited it from Rusty's parents, Rick and Amy Marvin.

He said the single "R" letter comes from the popular abbreviation text messengers use to represent one of the most common possessive adjectives of the English language.

"We're still in a state of flux," Mr. Phillips said. "It's not about Rusty anymore. It's about all of the kids."

Rusty's parents moved to South Florida last fall, months after his father confirmed in writing March 25, 2009, that he had sexual intercourse with a former adult client.

The admission came days after two ethics complaints were filed against him in March, 2009. A third was filed last May, according to Robert Field, Ohio Chemical Dependency Professional Board executive director.

Mr. Marvin's license was subsequently revoked Aug. 14 after an investigation by an ethics panel that reports to the state board.

In an interview with The Blade, Mr. Marvin said he has undergone counseling, regrets his past actions, and has moved on with his life. He said he and his wife now live in West Palm Beach, Fla., where they are involved with a different substance-abuse program called Intervention Ink.

Although a complaint of inappropriate relations is the most common one filed with the state board, it can mean many things. The board's decision to revoke a license is usually reserved for cases of a sexual matter because those are "deemed the most exploitative of the counselor-client relationship," Mr. Field said.

"The clients are in a vulnerable position. It's up to the counselor to protect them," he said.

Records show Mr. Marvin did not request a hearing, nor did he exercise his right to appeal the state board's decision to Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Mr. Field said.

The facility's name change was recently approved by the nonprofit organization's board of trustees.

"Today is a new beginning, and the board and volunteers are excited to move forward to create a financially sound, trustworthy organization that has one focus - the young adults and the families we serve," according to a prepared statement from Mr. Phillips.

"This organization is filling a major void in our community and will continue to do so with the help of our dedicated volunteers and the support of the community," the statement said.

R House, at 2428 Sylvania Ave., serves families with teens and young adults ages 14-25 in need of counseling for drug and alcohol addictions.

The Marvins were devastated by the July 7, 2005, death of their son, Rusty, an 18-year-old football standout for St. John's Jesuit High School. An autopsy showed he died of a cocaine overdose.

Rick Marvin, who had battled drug and alcohol problems himself, immediately began work on establishing Rusty's House with his wife.

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