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Long-Time Jeweler Robert Zetrouer Sentenced to 25 Years for Raping Child He Blamed

| August 19, 2016

robert zetrpouer sentenced

Robert Zetrouer, looking defeated moments after the sentence. (© FlaglerLive)

If Robert Zetrouer, the long-time owner of Zetrouer Jewelers in Palm Coast’s City Marketplace, had any hopes that his prison sentence could be reduced after he pleaded guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl, that hope was dashed this morning during his sentencing hearing when the prosecution played the recording of a phone call between Zetrouer and the girl.

The call was recorded by Flagler County Sheriff’s detectives who by then had been investigating the case. It was made soon after the incidents, when the girl was still 13. The girl—who this morning testified in court with visibly unendurable discomfort and tears to the assaults, which would take place “once or twice a week”–asks him why he had done what he’d done. Zetrouer doesn’t say. But he reveals himself to be rankly manipulative, at one point putting the blame for the assaults on the girl, urging her to lie to her mother, claiming that he committed the assaults only because he loved her and “wanted to teach you this” so she could be “prepared with boys,” telling her he wanted to walk her down the aisle as her father and that if she told of the assaults he could go to jail.

Zetrouer at the time had been dating the victim’s mother.

“Honestly honey this was trying to help you, I wanted to try to prepare you,” Zetrouer, now 65, said in the phone call, placed in July 2014. As the call played, Zetrouer sat hunched over next to his attorney, Garry Wood, while the victim and her family sat on the foremost bench in the courtroom, diagonally from Zetrouer. Halfway through the call the victim, her younger brother(who had also had to testify) and one family member stepped out, clearly shaken, walking just past Zetrouer’s fourth and current wife, who sat on the last bench in back of the courtroom, herself shaken.

When Circuit Judge Matthew Foxman offered Zetrouer a chance to speak this morning, Zetrouer replied with a curt “no.”

“Sir, it’s a terrible thing what has happened here, and you’re not going to like what I’m about to do,” Foxman then said, before speaking of what the victim had been put through. “She not only had to suffer through it, she had to participate in the investigation of the prosecution. She had to talk to strangers about what happened to her. That is a life sentence for her. That’s what you did.”

zetrouer jewelers

Zetrouer Jewelers at City Marketplace in Palm Coast this morning. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Foxman sentenced him to 25 years in prison and designated him a sexual predator. He did not impose probation after prison, though that’s immaterial: at 65, Zetrouer will not see freedom again.

The prosecution had asked for the maximum 30 years in prison, describing Zetrouer either as a “brazen” predator who cannot control himself and went as far as assaulting the girl in the same bedroom where her little brother just then watching television (an incident the little brother described on the stand), or as a master manipulator who insinuated himself into the girl’s family, dating her mother with the child as his true target.

The defense asked for no more than nine years, saying Zetrouer had not been in trouble before (though he faced an accusation of molesting a 4-year-old child in Putnam County; that accusation never led to a charge). Wood, the defense attorney, described Zetrouer as ailing from gout and a good husband to his current wife. The judge was not moved.

Those closing arguments had come at the end of a 40-minute sentencing hearing that had illustrated through the two children’s testimonies and the two controlled phone calls the impudence and audacity of a man whose overriding concern in the end was saving himself from jail.

Though more than two years older, the girl had been in tears the moment she’d walked into the courtroom and well before she was called to the stand, where she spoke in a faint voice and with obvious difficulty in addressing anything of a sexual nature: asked by the prosecution to specify details of the assaults, she could not bring herself to say more than “the lower part of my body,” “chest area,” “back part,” though it was enough to describe the extent of Zetrouer’s assaults. It had all started, she said, when he had asked her for a backrub.

In the phone call, Zetrouer is heard saying, “I will never, ever, do anything like that again, you are so special to me, you and [her brother] both, I love both of you kids, and I wanted to help you, and try to teach you [garbled] that’’s what happened, and it wasn’t right, but, and I’m sorry. But we’ve got to fix this. I love your mother very, very much and she loves me.”

Zetrouer at the time was under the assumption that the child’s mother had not been told.

“But I’m a child,” she tells him.

“I know you’re a child. This was wrong. What we did was wrong.”

That was the first time he slipped in blaming the girl, as if she were complicit in his crime.

“But why did you do it in the first place?”

zetrouer jail

Robert Zetrouer waves to his wife before being escorted to jail. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

“I don’t know,” Zetrouer says, diverting the question again to blame her. “It was wrong for both of us to do it,” he says, accusing her—with a laugh—of seeking him out for a backrub before again diverting the question back to saving himself, turning on the guilt. “I would like for us to figure something out right now so we can have a nice birthday for you tomorrow,” he tells her.

Then he calls her the liar: “You’re the good one that lies, so tell me. I need you to help me now, I really do, I tried to help you for two years and I screwed up and I really need you to help me now,” Zetrouer says.

“Oh, I don’t know,” she says.

He asks whether she can tell her mother that “I grabbed you there by mistake or something like that, and you thought it was wrong?” Then: “Do you realize what can happen to me? If they wanted to, they could send me to jail They could send me to jail and I would have nothing, I would lose my business.” He says he would lose her and the family. “Because you’re a minor. This is how serious this is. I could go to jail… I honestly honey this was trying to help you, I wanted to try to prepare you.”

He does not end the conversation before he gets her assurance of a specific script that she would relate to her mother—that it was all an accident.

Christy Opsahl, the prosecutor, told Foxman moments later that she would have “loved” to try the case, though the conviction she got was close to the maximum.

Zetrouer’s wife gasped when Foxman pronounced sentence. Zetrouer then was walked through the usual motions every convicted felon must go through—the fingerprinting, the DNA swab from the mouth, being made to wait for the paperwork to be completed by a bailiff.

His life as a free man effectively ended at 9:45 a.m., when he was handcuffed. He was searched at 9:53, and two minutes later, he was escorted out of the courtroom, for the first time through the side door. “I love you,” he said to his wife, raising his manacled hands to her. “It’s OK. Take care of the kids.” (Zetrouers Jewelers at City Marketplace was closed this morning.)

The prosecutor was still in the courtroom, awaiting other cases at 10 a.m. So was Zetrouer’s wife, who was hunched over a companion. The only sounds in the courtroom were her muffled sobs at one end, and the bailiff’s crumpling of papers and empty plastic bags from the DNA test, which he threw in the garbage.

32 Responses for “Long-Time Jeweler Robert Zetrouer Sentenced to 25 Years for Raping Child He Blamed”

  1. Anita Moeder says:

    Throw away the key…

  2. Geezer says:

    Cheap thrills for a degenerate can turn out to be quite costly, as illustrated by this article.
    If he makes it to ninety, then he’s free again.

    I don’t think he’ll crack 70.

  3. Realist says:

    I am in total shock as I have been a customer of his for a very long time. Nicest business man you would ever want to meet and a great jeweler. Since it appears it is true, I applaud the judge and Mr Zetrouer got exactly what he deserved. It is a world gone mad.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yay, one less perv on the streets

  5. Barb says:

    I hope he rots in hell and receives back exactly what he did to her.

  6. The Truth says:

    He’ll get what’s coming to him in prison. Scum.

  7. IMO says:

    If his conviction calls for a 25 year senetece then “Justice Has Been Served.”

  8. YankeeExPat says:

    Yet another reason not to do business with the locals.

  9. Sandra says:

    Yankee, what an odd response. He will get his justice in prison. It is called Karma.

  10. Oldseadog says:

    Yankee your response reminds me of a great quote:

    ” People don’t mind being mean; but they never want to be ridiculous.”

    What on earth does your response of “Yet another reason not to do business with the locals.” have anything
    to do with this sentence for a bad apple? REALITY CHECK please!

  11. Wishful Thinking says:

    OMG … He has been our jeweler for years… He just replaced last week —-a post on my pearl earings from Japan and recently restrung pearls from Mikimoto Island which I have prided for 48 years. We trusted him completely.. He even re-soldered a 100 year old ring my mom gave me when it split.. I bought my great watch from him and my hubby bought his wedding band from him ( after 20 years of marriage he gave in…).. I am in total total shock. Great staff – very professional … complete shock -Don’t mean to be redundant but cannot believe such a talented handsome man has ( had) a double life as a pervert. OMG

  12. JAG says:

    Yankee why would you say such a thing. Just because one business man did something does not mean all are like this. This man did the worst thing a person can do. He ruined a young girl. He will get what he should get in prison. Even in prison he is on the top of the list of the worst of the worst.
    Yankee I hope you see what this is really about, not a business but a man that is not worth the time of day.
    My prayers to the young girl and her family.

  13. Rita May says:

    Wow, at 18 I was asked by my brother-in-law to scratch his back. I was babysitting for my neice and nephews for my sister, who worked at a hospital. He was a teacher and was supposed to be working late. He arrived at their house early, and I detected the alcohol on his breath. He sat on the floor and I was on the couch. He asked me to scratch his back, so I did. The next think I knew, he was on top of me groping and kissing me. He was pushing my head into the floor, and I had plastic rollers in my hair at the time, and it hurt. Anyway, I pushed him off of me and told him I was going to tell my sister. He panicked. I’m telling this because I could fight back. This poor girl was only 13 and he manipulated her. Me he rot in jail!

  14. Concerned Citizen says:

    Another mean, nasty, perverted individual off the street.

    I am glad to see that the courts did the right thing here. No claims of he needs help or counseling. No claims of a mental health illness. Just a nasty individual who finally got caught and was brought to justice. I bet if they did further digging they might find more victims.

    Too often in society these nasty pervs try to hide behind the “mental health” card. How often do the courts take the bait and release these non-rehabilital offenders back into the streets to strike again?

    I have no sympathy for this person and am glad he is going to prison. I hope he gets what is coming to him. Most do in this situation.

    I do feel for the victim in this case and hope she is getting the help needed.

    Yankee Pat that has to be the most ignorant comment I have ever heard. You might even want to consider what you said and reflect on an apology as most “locals” I have met are decent honest and hard working folks.

  15. RP says:

    This is a great time to remind people that there is a sex offender registry that anyone can look at any time. You might be shocked at how close you live to sexual predator.

  16. anon2 says:

    I commend the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office for conducting a thorough investigation that resulted in the pedophile getting what he deserves; prison for 25 years (the rest of his life). My condolences to the child/victim. She will carry the scars of this atrocity for the rest of her life.

  17. Anonymous says:

    He was my jeweler since I moved to Palm Coast. He did excellent work. He just repaired my two rosary beads Wednesday. He did it for absolutely free. I’m in shock and can’t believe this happened. He was always very nice and good to me. I feel badly about what happened to the thirteen year old girl. Similar things happened to me when I was younger and never got over any of it.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to the girl and her family. I’m so sorry this happened.

  18. Markingthedays says:

    I guess the joke is on everyone who has been a customer since this happened in 2014!

  19. Old Flagler says:

    My daughter, (8-19 yesr of age as his customer) and wife have been customers there for almost two decades. Had I known this, we would have found business elsewhere as would other Flagler residents. Yankee, don’t accuse the locals of following the same pattern and you should apologize to the Chamber of Commerce for such comments on sites like these. Markingthedays, there is NO JOKE on anyone!!!! The local news does not always make it to everyone’s door, TV, or computer and I have all three. Pointless comments are unnecessary. We should all be praying for the victim and her family. What if this were our daughters??
    Remember others and not just yourself when you type online..

  20. Constanza says:

    This creep is Pondscum. He deserves every minute of his sentence. I hope he lives to serve it all but then dies as he’s released.

    He has ruined-or at least damaged the lives of so many people.

    Anyone who pities him should simply read the story above or hear the recorded phone calls.

    This jerk is worse than the stuff you’d scrape off the bottom of your shoe.

    I wish all of his victims-everyone hurt by his actions-peace and happiness. None of them deserved this.

    No one ever does.

  21. YankeeExPat says:

    In response to my comments requiring an apology to the Locals, Let us take a stroll down the street of Public Record and reflect upon the criminality of some of our business in Flagler County. It is my belief that the victims of the criminal acts enacted upon them by local business deserve an Apology, not the Chamber of Commerce.

    Palm Coast’s “D.J. Chris” and Owner of Kids’ Bounce House Co. Charged With Soliciting Minor for Sex
    FLAGLERLIVE | JULY 1, 2015

    Goomba’s Ex-Hitman Joey Calco Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison; Calzone Case Ahead

    October 31, 2014 Florida Department of Revenue
    Former Bunnell Computer Store Owner Arrested
    Linda Marie Khoury, 36, owner of Computer Task Force, Inc., has been arrested on charges that she stole more than $4,400 in sales tax she collected from customers, but failed to send to the state, according to the Florida Department of Revenue.

    At Five Star Pizza, A Confrontation With A Dissatisfied Customer Ends With a Gun

    Ex-Verdego Employee Accused of Defrauding Customers and Company Van Theft

    3 charged in Palm Coast Medicaid scam
    PALM COAST — Three Palm Coast people were arrested Monday night following a nine-month Medicaid fraud investigation.
    Florida Attorney General investigators have determined that two former employees of a Palm Coast in-home medical care provider conspired with a client for more than a year to falsify billing documents, exaggerating the number of hours they spent providing care to the man’s two disabled sons. Reports indicate he scam amounted to about $130,000 in fraudulent Medicaid charges over 14 months.

    10 arrested for unlicensed contracting
    MAR. 25, 2013

    Those arrested were:
    1. John Vincent Benning, 46 years old, 4 Carol Court, Palm Coast.
    Charges: Felony construction without a license, misdemeanor electrical without a license. Bond: $1,500.
    2. Mark C. Green, 52 years old, 18 Woodborn Lane, Palm Coast.
    Charges: Misdemeanor construction without a license and misdemeanor electrical without a license.
    3. Elias Jorge Torres , 33 years old, 9 Pine Hurst Lane, Palm Coast.
    Charges: misdemeanor construction without a license and misdemeanor electrical without a license. Released on recognizance.
    4. Joseph Ricker , 51 years old, 27 Webb Lane, Palm Coast.
    Charges: Misdemeanor construction without a license and misdemeanor electrical without a license. Released on recognizance.
    5. Raul Troche, 57 years old, 70 Belleaire Drive, Palm Coast.
    Charges: Misdemeanor construction without a license.
    6. Russell Alan Iglesias, 55 years old, 4571 Canal Ave.,Bunnell.
    Charges: Misdemeanor construction without a license and misdemeanor electrical without a license. Released on recognizance.
    7. Dennis Dean McDonald, 65 years old, 120Bridgehaven Drive, Palm Coast.
    Charges: Misdemeanor construction without a license and misdemeanor electrical without a license. Released on recognizance.
    8. Robert James Barrow, 53 years old, 2930 N. Oceanshore Blvd., Flagler Beach.
    Charges: Misdemeanor construction without a license. Released on recognizance.

  22. Geezer says:


    I always shopped in Ormond or St. Augustine, except for groceries and such.
    One day I peeked into Goombah’s and knew not to ever buy a pie there.

    You don’t owe anyone an apology for saying what you feel.


  23. Bridget says:

    Brought my little boy today at Bounce house in Palm Coast for years just make she wonder I would be very careful where I would bring my kids thank you where did you get all this information from is there a website …

  24. footballen says:

    That scum bag has been buying stolen jewelry for years at his shop. That staff can not deny knowing what this rotten bastard has been up to. He took a good friend of mine’s wedding ring in on consignment then pretended he never got it from her.Is scum and always has been. You cannot work that closely with scum for that long and not know it in my opinion. The cops busted him for being an unlicensed gold buyer and he took his “we buy gold signs” down for two days. Next thing you know they were right back up and he was right back to buying stolen jewelry.

  25. LoveJesusHateTheGovernment says:

    I feel so heart broken, not just for the little girl and her mother, but also for Mr. Zetzouer’s wife and daughter who are both lovely people. I hope that the Holy Spirit brings healing to this situation and everyone involved. This story reminds me of a fantastic lecture I once heard on the nature of sexual addiction:

  26. jasonb says:

    Very creepy, reminds me of Trump saying his daughter is the kind of girl he would date.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn’t everyone stop playing the blame game. The guy obviously needs Mental health. He s right where he needs to be and his penance is 25 years in prison. I was a corrections ofc and it’s a horrible existance to be in. He is paying for what he did.
    I’m sorry For the 13 year old to have to endure what she did. It’s an awful existance. I went through this and I’m much older and
    I hope she gets the horrible experience.

  28. palmcoaster says:

    Right on jasonb.!

  29. TheBoldTruth69 says:

    In response to the bleeding heart liberal Anonymous. Empirical evidence suggests that such a condition results in re-offense more often than not. I feel for you and am sorry that you went through such a horrific experience; however, your assertion that “everyone stop playing the blame game” is indicative of someone who fell for the same line of $hit that this guy fed to this poor little girl. Had I known he was a monster when I went into his store to make a purchase, I would have tore his a$$ up myself.

    God bless….

  30. Geezer says:

    “I would have tore his a$$ up myself.”
    I must say that those dollar signs are right on the money.

  31. annie fannie1234 says:

    I too am in complete and utter shock. He was always gracious and it seemed like mature female adult family relatives were always there in the front of the store. He is the only jeweler I went to after Goldsmiths closed. I know the saying you can” t judge a book by its cover but in this case I must say if I hadn”t read this I never would have believed it.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Everyone better check their Stones and Diamonds
    I’m sure he has been cashing out for some time now

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