Frederick County, Maryland pediatrician is accused of rape, released on bail, then indicted as many more sexual abuse allegations surface.
68-year-old Frederick County, Maryland pediatrician, Ernesto Torres, was indicted on 65 charges, including 9 counts of child sex abuse, 10 counts of sex abuse of a minor, 43 counts of a third-degree sex offense, two counts of a second-degree sex offense and one count second-degree assault. Torres was initially charged with second-degree rape involving an 18-year-old woman and was released on home detention after posting a $100,000 bond.
The 18-year-old female patient, who had seen Torres since she was a child, reported that “she visited Torres for a routine follow-up visit, and during that the appointment, she had an anxiety attack, prompting Torres to give her a physical examination. During the examination, Torres allegedly put his hand down the patient’s pants and touched her for several minutes, during which the patient was fearful and felt she could not leave.” The 68-year-old doctor was charged with second-degree rape, second-degree assault, and fourth-degree sex offense in that incident.
“The incident occurred in April, and the young lady reported it right away to her dad. Her dad contacted the Frederick Police Department, and they conducted the investigation,” Frederick County States Attorney Charlie Smith said.
While the physician was at home awaiting trial, Frederick County prosecutors called him a flight risk. Judge Julia Martz-Fisher, appointed by Governor Larry Hogan (R), had set his bond and specified he was to have no unsupervised contact with patients or minors. The doctor also surrendered his passport. However, Martz-Fisher stated she would allow the medical board to determine if Torres can continue to practice, indicating Torres would be allowed to attend work, and medical and religious appointments. Now, the physician has been indicated by a Grand Jury following accounts from numerous other victims who have come forward.
“All described inappropriate touching under their clothing, so very unfortunate, very sad set of facts,” Smith stated. “We believe based on the allegations that Dr. Torres poses a significant threat to the public, which is why we requested he be held without bond…We will review each one independently of the other to determine whether they are sufficient to charge.”
One victim who gave her account was an 11-year-old girl.
“The one case did involve an examination for a skin condition. And while examining the 11-year-old girl with regard to that skin condition, inappropriate conduct occurred,” Smith said.
“I just think that it’s really awful if it’s true,” John Mount, of Frederick County, said.
Torres has been a licensed physician since 1979, specializing in pediatrics. He is the only physician at his quaint private practice. For the past decade, he was had a clean record. However, as evidenced by this case, it takes only one alleged victim to step forward for others to have the courage to follow suit. The Frederick Police Department believe there could still be other victims, and anyone with information about the case, including other potential victims, should contact Detective Sean McKinney at 240-578-5683.
Smith said, “We again encourage anyone with information regarding the case to contact authorities immediately.”
Torres’ attorney, Richard Bricken, emphasized that his client is entitled to the presumption of innocence and a fair trial.