Counselor arrested for abusing girl in his care, Palm Sheriff’s office says


PALM COAST, FL – A counselor who was providing services to a young girl in his care.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Department issued the following release:

On August 3, 2021, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) Major Case Unit (MCU) was granted an arrest warrant for a suspect who sexually molested a juvenile. Robert Neal Batie (DOB: 4/21/1961) sexually abused the victim whom he’s been providing therapy services for over the last five months.

On June 29, 2021, the FCSO received a report from a juvenile who disclosed that she had been sexually molested the previous day while attending a counseling session. The MCU responded to the location of the incident at Palm Coast Counseling, LLC., located at 1 Hargrove Grade.

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The victim stated that she had been attending therapy sessions at the facility for the past five months and during the most recent session, Batie engaged in several unlawful acts of sexual misconduct with her. Batie’s employment at Palm Coast Counseling coincidentally ended that same week.

On August 3, 2021, after gathering a significant amount of corroborating evidence and subsequently receiving a biological report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), MCU Detectives secured a warrant for the arrest of Batie.

FCSO MCU Detectives LaVerne and Crosbee immediately proceeded to track down Batie at his new place of employment, AZA Health, located at 1455 Dunn Avenue, Daytona Beach, and with the assistance of the Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD), Batie was taken into custody.

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“This was a remarkable joint effort between our Major Case Unit Detectives and DBPD to get this guy off the street,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “I want to thank the detectives for their tireless efforts to bring justice to this victim and her family. This disgusting pervert is now in jail where he belongs and can no longer prey on children. I applaud the victim for speaking out and hope she gains some closure with his arrest.”

Robert Batie was arrested and is being temporarily held at the Volusia County Branch Jail, awaiting transport to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility. He is being charged with Sexual Battery While in Custodial Authority, Two Counts of Unlawful Sexual Activity with Certain Minors, and Sexual Misconduct by a Psychotherapist. He is being held on no bond.

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At this time, no evidence has been uncovered suggesting that there are any additional victims, however, any and all victims of sexual abuse are encouraged to come forward so that justice can be sought.