Tag: Palm Coast sexual abuse

Palm Coast Social Worker Robert Batie Get License Revoked Due to Sexual Misconduct With Teen Client

On June 9, 2022, Palm Coast social worker, Robert Batie, had his license to practice as a clinical social worker in Florida revoked following a disciplinary action brought by the Florida Department of Health Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling just eight months following the Emergency Order. Batie has been a licensed social worker in Florida since 2017.

A Final Order of discipline was entered following Batie’s arrest back in August and subsequently charged with one count of sexual battery on a minor 12-18 by a person in custodial authority, two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, and one count of sexual misconduct by a psychotherapist. According to law enforcement, Batie admitted to each act of unlawful sexual activity, as well as his awareness that the victim was a minor. 

According to police records, the victim’s school referred the child to Palm Coast Counseling to treat generalized anxiety. Batie met with the alleged victim alone for approximately eleven sessions, each lasting about one hour. During those sessions, police reports indicate Batie engaged “in a course of conduct that could be interpreted as grooming.” Towards the end of the victim’s treatment with Batie, reports revealed that Batie spoke to the victim in a suggestive manner.  Florida’s Department of Health says Batie wrote in the treatment notes that the patient was dressed in a “seductive manner” a day before the assault.

On June 28, 2021, during the victim’s last therapy session, Batie reportedly made inappropriate sexual comments and continued to escalate his sexual advances. Reports say Batie positioned himself behind the victim and asked her about her sexuality. Batie also forced the victim to perform and receive oral sex. When the assault ended, Batie warned the victim not to tell anyone because Batie could get into “big trouble” since he was an adult and the patient was a minor.

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) issued an Emergency Order restricting Batie’s social work license on October 13, 2021, on account of this complaint. The allegations made against Batie were deemed credible as there was sufficient evidence. Subsequently, Batie’s license has been revoked, along with a $1,500 fine. He also must pay the investigation fee of $3402.

Batie violated the therapist-patient relationship. A social worker may not use his relationship with a client to induce or attempt to induce the patient to engage or to engage or attempt to engage the patient in sexual activity outside the scope of practice or the scope of generally accepted examination or treatment of the patient.

“Mr. Batie’s conduct of sexually assaulting a minor patient under his care, who trusted him to act professionally and in their best interest, indicates that he is unable to practice as a clinical social worker with reasonable skill and safety to patients,” the Department of Health said in its emergency suspension order.  Given the nature of the abuse and Batie’s conduct, the Department of Health labeled Batie’s behavior “an immediate, serious danger to the public health” and decided against allowing him to keep his license with restrictions.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against medical professionals on behalf of patients who were inappropriately touched in their care.  Under no circumstances is a doctor or nurse permitted to have sexual contact with a patient.  If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery at a medical office or facility, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Palm Coast Social Worker Robert Batie Arrested, License Suspended After Allegedly Abusing Minor

Robert Neal Batie Horowitz Law

 Florida Department of Health Suspends Clinical Social Worker’s License After Sex Abuse Complaint

On October 13, 2021, Florida’s Department of Health ordered the emergency suspension of Robert Batie’s license to practice as a clinical social worker in state. The emergency suspension comes two months after Robert Batie was arrested and criminally charged on counts of molesting and raping a 16-year-old female client from Palm Coast, Florida.

“Mr. Batie’s conduct of sexually assaulting a minor patient under his care, who trusted him to act professionally and in their best interest, indicates that he is unable to practice as a clinical social worker with reasonable skill and safety to patients,” the Department of Health said in its emergency suspension order.   Given the nature of the abuse and Batie’s conduct, the Department of Health labeled Batie’s behavior “an immediate, serious danger to the public health” and decided against allowing him to keep his license with restrictions.

Factual Background

Robert Neal Batie Horowitz LawAt the time of the alleged assault, Robert Batie was a clinical social worker at Palm Coast Counseling, LLC., located at 1 Hargrove Grade, Unit A, Palm Coast, FL. Licensed since 2017, Batie says he has more than a decade’s worth of experience in the helping profession.

According to police records, the victim’s school referred the child to Palm Coast Counseling to treat generalized anxiety. Batie met with the alleged victim alone for approximately eleven sessions, each lasting about one hour. During those sessions, police reports indicate Batie engaged “in a course of conduct that could be interpreted as grooming.” Towards the end of the victim’s treatment with Batie, reports revealed that Batie spoke to the victim in a suggestive manner.  Florida’s Department of Health says Batie wrote in the treatment notes that the patient was dressed in a “seductive manner” a day before the assault.

Robert Batie’s Assault on the Victim and Attempted Concealment

On June 28, 2021, during the alleged victim’s last therapy session with Robert Batie before he began working at AZA Health in Palatka, Batie reportedly made inappropriate sexual comments and continued to escalate his sexual advances. Reports say Batie positioned himself behind the victim and asked her about her sexuality.

Batie also allegedly forced the victim to perform and receive oral sex. When the assault ended, Batie warned the victim not to tell anyone because Batie could get into “big trouble” since he was an adult and the patient was a minor. The alleged victim reported the assault to her guardians, who later reported the abuse to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. The alleged victim also preserved their underclothes and other garments and gave them to the police.

Robert Batie’s Charges and Subsequent Arrest

Robert Batie was arrested at his job in early August and subsequently charged with one count of sexual battery on a victim 12-18 by a person in custodial authority, two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, and one count of sexual misconduct by a psychotherapist.  According to law enforcement, Batie admitted to each act of unlawful sexual activity, as well as his awareness that the victim was a minor. Batie was later held at the Volusia County Branch Jail before his transfer to the Flagler County jail.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against medical professionals on behalf of patients who were inappropriately touched in their care.  Under no circumstances is a doctor or nurse permitted to have sexual contact with a patient.  If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery at a medical office or facility, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

 

Florence Fruehan sexual doctor

Two Misdemeanor Battery Charges Filed Against Former Palm Coast Doctor Florence Fruehan

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has filed two misdemeanor criminal charges against former doctor Florence Freuhan in connection with inappropriately touching two female clients.  At least five women in all have reported that their doctor, Florence Fruehan, made inappropriate and unwanted sexual contact with them.  The five women range in age from 39 to 74.  The criminal statute of limitations expired on the other claims for which he was not charged.

Previously, Palm Coast doctor Florence Fruehan had agreed to quit practicing medicine and relinquish his medical license as part of a disciplinary agreement with the Florida Department of Health.  The Florida Department of Health later issued a Final Order on December 6, 2018 accepting the Dr. Freuhan’s offer to relinquish his license which the Department construes as disciplinary action against his license.  Notably, Florence Fruehan may never again apply for license as an osteopathic physician in the State of Florida.

The agreement was made after Dr. Fruehan’s license was restricted after he was accused of sexual misconduct by the Department.  Fruehan remains under criminal investigation by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office following multiple claims of sexual misconduct with female clients.  Dr. Fruehan had been licensed as an osteopathic physician in Florida since 1987.

The agreement specifies that Fruehan surrendering his license “shall be construed as disciplinary action against [his] license” pursuant to Florida law. “  As with any disciplinary action, this relinquishment will be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank as disciplinary action. Licensing authorities in other states may impose discipline in their jurisdiction based on discipline taken in Florida.”

The Department of Health action was based on allegations by one of Dr. Fruehan’s patients, a 54-year-old Palm Coast woman identified as “J.M.”  She reports she was seen by Dr. Fruehan and treated for epilepsy for the past two years. During a May 24, 2018 visit, she said Dr. Fruehan led her into an exam room after she told him she was due for a mammogram and groped both of her breasts through her blouse and bra.  Earlier in the visit, Dr. Fruehan had learned that J.M.. recently became a widow.

Dr. Florence Fruehan was previously charged with sexual battery in May 2006 after a 26-year-old Palm Coast woman accused him of touching her inappropriately during an exam while her husband was in the room.  Flagler County courthouse records also indicate that  Dr.. Fruehan was the subject of two arrests for misdemeanor battery–on June 23, 1995, and  on Jan. 16, 1996. The charges were all dropped.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who was a patient of Dr. Fruehan and feels that they had an inappropriate experience to call them at (386) 313-4911.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted by a physician or at a doctor’s office or hospital, it is important to have a lawyer experienced in these matters. We are experienced in handling cases involving sexual assault by doctors and other medical personnelIf you have a been a victim of sexual assault by a doctor in a hospital or medical office, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com