FOSTER CARE FAIL: Clearwater man arrested for child porn and molestation of 8-year-old orphan
In May 2019, Pinellas Park police arrested Robert Metzner on 12 counts of Possession of Child Pornography and 1 count of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation. An informant gave investigators a USB drive that allegedly belonged to Metzner, age 69. They secured a warrant for it and found 160 images of child pornography saved on the drive. Investigators then got a search warrant for a search of Metzner’s home. Several more electronic devices were seized as evidence.
Remakably, at the time of the arrest in May 2019, police conducted a follow up investigation on a prior report received in December 2018 by a separate 8-year-old boy. He reported that Metzner, his foster parent, had touched his genitals multiple times with a washcloth while he was taking a bath. Police said Metzner provided statements that confirmed the boy’s allegation.
Metzner was booked into the Pinellas County Jail, with bail set at $100,000 for each child pornography charge. No bail was set for the lewd and lascivious molestation.
The boy that was the subject of the May 2019 complaint was removed from the home. He was in Metzner’s care for one week. According to police, Metzner was caring for the child through Eckerd Connects, the company responsible for child welfare in Pinellas County.
The investigation is on-going.
There are thousands of children waiting to find a home to call their own. The expectation is that they will be placed in a safe, stable, nurturing and healthy environment. The placement of these vulnerable children in a certified, licensed foster care home is the sole responsibility of a foster care agency. It is unacceptable that a child is sexually abused by a foster parent. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place in the foster care system. Any agency in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility for failing to properly screen potential foster parents, and protect the children.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested by a foster parent, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at email@example.com for a free consultation.