Local Child Counselor Accused of Misconduct Surrenders License - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Local Child Counselor Accused of Misconduct Surrenders License

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CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) -

Local child counselor Robert Berlin voluntarily surrendered his professional license on Tuesday. He's been the target of numerous complaints alleging misconduct.

Berlin surrendered his license to avoid a hearing before an administrative law judge later this week.

In January of 2013, Berlin was questioned by investigators of the Corpus Christi Police Department regarding complaints made to them by a 12-year old boy.

"I want to be helpful because I feel like I don't have anything to hide," Berlin said in their interview.

The officer goes on to tell Berlin the complaint involves him showing pictures of male private parts to a 12-year old boy, and then asking him if he had gone through puberty, and asking whether he was circumcised or not.

"Usually boys who come in, especially if they've been sexually abused or have history of sexual aggression towards others, that's part of the treatment plan," Berlin said. "You know, just kind of a standard sexuality, sexual puberty education program. I used that as a way to kind of break the ice."

Berlin then goes on to explain why he would often discuss sexuality with the boys.

"For kids that age, sometimes I'll open the door and say, 'kids that age often usually have a lot of questions about puberty. Is that something that you're interested in learning more about?' Especially if they're fatherless," Berlin said. "My experience as a counselor, kids really appreciate someone who actually puts it out there and tells them the truth, as opposed to someone who tries to sugarcoat it and kind of answers the question without answering the question."

"He said you asked him to take down  his pants and show you his penis," the investigator asked. "Does that sound right?"

"No, that's not something we do," Berlin responded.

The officers told Berlin that they will be confiscating his laptop, and Berlin then said it is community property since many of the people, the teen boys he lives with, know the passwords.

Another officer said they have seen video of what appears to be young teens having sex. Berlin then said he was not aware of the video.

During the interview, Berlin told officers that they kind of view him as a father figure, referring to some of the teen boys he has counseled and allowed to live with him in his own home.

"The licensure board rules state that you cannot have a duel relationship with your clients. Meaning you can't be their counselor and their friend," investigators said.

Berlin said he knows he has violated the state rule, but that allowing teens he was counseling to also live in the same house with him was the moral thing to do.

While Robert Berlin has not been charged with any crime, police believe there might be other teens he may have come in contact with.

3News spoke with the mother of an 11-year old boy Tuesday who was recently interviewed by the Children's Advocacy Center. It is not known yet if any criminal charges will be filed in that case.

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