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Columbia man charged with abuse after striking resident at state-run facility, SLED says

State - 9/9/2022

A Columbia man who worked at a Midlands facility for people with disabilities has been charged with abusing a vulnerable adult, the State Law Enforcement Division said.

Robert Lee Portee, Jr., 34, was working July 22 as a direct support professional at the Midlands Regional Center, which cares for people with intellectual disabilities and is operated by the state Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.

On that date, a SLED warrant says Portee struck a resident at the facility with a closed fist twice in the face.

Portee is no longer employed by DDSN, the state agency said.

“As a result of the incident, the staff member was immediately removed from the Midlands Regional Center, placed on administrative leave without pay and subsequently terminated,” DDSN said in a statement.

SLED reviewed video footage of the July 22 incident and conducted interview before filing charges Tuesday.

Portee was taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County.

Portee was no longer listed as an inmate as of Friday.

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