Florida revokes psychologist Jeffrey L. Benoit’s license

On November 10, 2010, the state of Florida revoked the license of psychologist Jeffrey Lynn Benoit after he violated multiple laws while employed at Florida State Psychiatric Hospital at Chattahoochee.

On July 7, 2010, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) issued an Administrative Complaint against Benoit, accusing him of having sexual relations with a patient, then marrying her while he was still married to his first wife.

The DOH’s complaint states that the patient was committed to Chatahoochee in February 2008 following the commission of two incidents of arson (which the woman stated were suicide attempts) and that by May, Benoit began having sexual relations with the woman in his office at the hospital.

In July 2008, she was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the arson cases and ordered committed, remaining in the Florida State Hospital.

Benoit’s unit supervisor asked him to stop treating the patient because “he seemed to be losing objectivity” with regard to her. She was transferred to the care of another psychologist.

Despite not being her doctor and against orders, he advocated for the woman’s release, resulting the hospital removing him from all resident contact and responsibilities the next day.

The day the woman was released, a hospital employee reported seeing Benoit at the woman’s home. Before long, Benoit and the woman were living together. Benoit came under hospital internal investigation and resigned shortly thereafter.

DOH’s complaint states that a warranty deed shows Benoit and the woman bought a home together in February 2009 and a certificate of marriage from Houston County, Ala., shows they were married in March 2009 – while Benoit was still legally married to his first wife.

The former patient gave birth to a son in March 2010, the birth certificate naming Benoit as the father.

They were both arrested a month later on domestic violence charges, according to the Department of Health complaint.

Benoit is currently wanted in Jackson County, Florida for failure to appear to answer to a battery charges.  A warrant for his arrest was issued September 10, 2010.

Source: Administrative Complaint, Florida Department of Health v. Jeffrey Lynn Benoit, Ph.D., Case No. 2008-22227 and Morgan Carlson and Deborah Buckhalter, “Psychiatrist’s license revoked,” Jackson County Floridian, 21 November 2010.

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One response to “Florida revokes psychologist Jeffrey L. Benoit’s license

  1. Hershel Meadows

    I believe having sex with a psychiatric patient is a felony. I doubt if Florida will press charges against Dr. Benoit due to his history as being one of the top hired guns for DCF and the State. Dr. Benoit ‘evaluated’ about to be released sex offenders to determine whether or not they needed to be civilly committed under Florida’s ‘Jimmy Ryce Act’. In numerous cases, his ‘expert’ testimony resulted in men being re-incarcerated. It now seems that Dr. Benoit is a sex offender himself. A conviction would require his placement on the sex offender registry. To press charges for rape against him, Florida would be admitting that it allowed a rapist to ‘evaluate’ other rapists and then testify against them in court. This would open the flood gates for writs of habeas corpus and petitions for new trials. Even an allegation of sexual assault would seriously undermine his credibility. I’ve read extensively about sex offenders. Sex offenders aren’t created overnight. Sex offenders have long term fantasies. I wonder if this is the first time Dr. Benoit sexually assaulted a patient? Marrying a rape victim would be the ultimate defense in a rape trial. Enough of a defense to cause someone to commit bigamy. I wonder if the State would press charges against Dr. Benoit if other patients/victims were to come forward? In my opinion, Dr. Benoit has violated the oath he took for many, many years. I’m glad he has been finally caught and I hope his ex-wives can now heal from the physical and mental assaults he committed against them.

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