A grand jury indicted a Frederick pediatrician after he allegedly sexually assaulted an 18-year-old female patient. 

Dr. Ernesto Torres, 68, who practices family medicine at 188 Thomas Johnson Drive, Suite 202, was indicted by a grand jury Friday on charges of second-degree rape, second-degree assault and fourth-degree sex offense, according to a press release from the Frederick County State's Attorney's Office and Frederick Police Department. 

Will Cockey, a spokesman with the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office, confirmed that multiple concerned parents have come forward since the arrest was announced Tuesday morning. Detectives with the Frederick Police Department are continuing to field calls in the case, Cockey said.

The initial release stated there was no information to indicate any additional victims.

Torres was arrested at his home at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday after a warrant was issued for his arrest. 

He is being held at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center and has not yet seen a District Court commissioner, according to the release.

The Frederick Police Department opened their investigation into the allegations on April 26, according to the release.

According to Maryland code, second-degree rape can be charged if a person allegedly engages in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act by force or threat of force without the consent of the other person. It can also be charged if the victim is "physically helpless" or cognitively impaired, and the person allegedly committing the crime is aware, according to the law. 

Second-degree rape carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. 

Torres earned his medical degree from Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, Peru, according to his website. He attended residency at the Wilmington Medical Center in Delaware, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida and Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago.

He has been in private practice since 1979, according to the website. When contacted Tuesday, Torres' office was closed and a message could not be left.

A bail hearing had not been scheduled for Torres as of Tuesday afternoon.

Follow Heather Mongilio on Twitter: @HMongilio

Heather Mongilio is the health and Fort Detrick reporter for the Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at hmongilio@newspost.com.

(76) comments

Angelscon

I feel like I have just been violated all over again by the memories and by the law. I was eighteen back in May of 1982. I remember this well because it was going to be senior hook day and my mother had to let the school know that I had a doctors appointment already scheduled for that day. Dr. Ernesto Torres! I cannot remember why my mother had scheduled an appointment. I was suffering from anorexia, my mothers suspected but it was not diagnosed at the time. The nurse took me into the room and told me to take off all my clothes except my panties and bra. she took the usual vitals and them said she was going to get the doctor. ONLY the doctor TORRES came in the room, she did not come back. At one point I was told to take off the rest of my clothes. I remember looking at him wordlessly thinking why? But I did as I was told cause that's what you did back then. That Torres had me walk back and forth in front of him. Watching me from the front and back. He then stood in front of me putting his hands on my shoulders looking NO LEERING at me HAPPILY as he looked at me up and down the front of me. Through the whole event, I kept trying to cover my pelvic area and my breasts with my hands. He kept telling me to put my arms down to my sides. At one point he almost yells at me to listen to him. I remember walking out of the office numb and getting into the car where my sister was waiting to drive me back home. Before we could leave I started to cry and I told my sister what happened. My sister said we needed to tell my mom right away. My mother did not react the way we thought she would. She just kept saying that he was a DOCTOR that he must have had a reason, maybe he was looking for a curvature in my spine she said. She let me down. Deep down I knew it was wrong how could she defend him? I think she was in denial and till this day she says she does not remember or she would have done something. Now when I have proof by other people speaking out I come forward with my story. The detective said because he did not touch me in my private parts there is nothing that can be done!! He also asked me if I was having a physical? Does that make a difference? Would a doctor be able to do this if I was having a physical???? This is NOT RIGHT!! I FELT VIOLATED THEN AND I FEEL VIOLATED AGAIN!! I HATE HIM AND I WANT HIM TO HURT LIKE HE HURT OTHERS FOR HIS OWN GRADIFICATION!!

mrnatural1

Thank you for sharing what was obviously a horrible experience. That may encourage others to speak out.

Do you plan to testify, or is there some statute of limitations that applies?

It would be interesting to hear from any nurses who have worked with Doctor Torres.

pwarren

I have two daughters, Dr. Torres has been their doctor since birth until they were adults. One daughter had no issues with Dr. Torres's affection while treating her, the other daughter felt uncomfortable at times. I was always in the office during their visits and never once was their anything that I felt was inappropriate. Now I am not discounting the feelings or instinct my daughter who felt at times uncomfortable but I will say that this daughter is not a touchy feely kind of person, so it was not odd to me that she felt uncomfortable with Dr. Torre's affection. Just recently I ran into Dr. Torres outside of his practice and I noticed that he appears to have Parkinsons or some other medical issue which appeared to effective his muscular control. I am just wondering to myself if maybe this young lady accusing Dr. Torres is misunderstanding what occurred because of his lack of control because of his medical condition. I also do not want my comments to make his accuser think that she should not have come forward about her experience. I just really wonder if she might not be misunderstanding the situation because he is such an affectionate doctor and his medical issues that may have effected his hand movements. Another thing that is weird to me is why is an adult going to see a pediatrician. I just think that is odd. This whole situation has been really tugging at my heart since I heard it on the news. I can not help but feel very sad for Dr. Torres and hope this is all just a big misunderstanding. He has been a excellent care giver to my children and many others I am sure. His practice was always busy and there were always nurses and assistance all around during all out visits. It seems weird and not really possible that all of sudden he is a rapist. I just don't think I am falling for it.

Fiver

I hope these kinds of stories inspire people to educate themselves on trauma and its psychology. When someone is molested or raped, it is natural for them not to tell anyone- either forever or for a very long time. That is how it works. It takes a long time for the victim to even process what happened.

It is also common for the abuser to be a beloved, trusted member of the community.

It is absolutely possible for a child to be assaulted with someone in the room. See Larry Nasser.

Considering many of the comments here, why would any child want to be the one who blows the whistle? They would get pushback from everyone who didn’t have the same experience and blame for “letting” it happen.

And why place responsibility on the child to say something? It is the abusive adult who should be held responsible for his or her actions.

One more thing- as a woman, I know there is no reason to touch breasts except for mammograms and lump checks, maybe a skin cancer check. Heart and lungs checks do not involve breasts. None of these procedures could be mistaken for fondling. And it isn’t necessary to fondle genitalia, even during a Pap smear or colposcopy.

Comment deleted.
mrnatural1

04evyborny ,

I just wanted to say that your comment is one of the best I've seen here. It comes across as honest and sincere.

I am curious about something -- you and a few other posters have said that your mother (and/or a nurse in some other cases) was always in the room. I can tell by what you wrote that you are being truthful -- I am not doubting you at all, just curious, how could Dr. Torres (or any doctor) touch a child inappropriately without the other adult(s) in the room noticing? Especially a parent -- I'd think most parents would be hyper vigilant.

What am I missing? Was Dr. Torres between you and your mom obstructing her view?


endoftime

Everyone who is now claiming to be a victim better report this to police because I did and hope if the Doc proved to be innocent he should sue the hell out. He practice is over no matter what the outcome of these charges.

mrnatural1

endoftime:

I don't understand your comment. You seem to be saying a) you were/are a victim, but b) Dr. Torres may be innocent -- and if so, he should file a lawsuit.

endoftime

sorry, I meant to say that I would!

citizens alert

I went to this pediatrician growing up. He was constantly touching my breasts when completely unnecessary. Once I went into his office because I was getting constant headaches, this was around the time I had just hit puberty and was feeling very awkward. My guardian did not come in with me this time, and Dr. Torres reached his hand so far down my pants that he actually had his finger tips on my genitalia .

Stef93

& people comment on here stating he's innocent! this is so disgusting & sounds worse than my experience with him. I am sorry this happened to you. He hides his inappropriate behavior with all this "kindness "

KellyAlzan

And?

sevenstones1000

Please people! Watch the HBO documentary about Dr. Larry Nasser and women’s gymnastics. His abuse went on for decades, with parents right in the room. When the first girl tried to talk about it, she was harassed by parents and other gymnasts who denied it could happen. Many of those girls later admitted that they’d too, had been abused.

auntTique85

Stef93, that doesn't sound like inappropriate touching, if he was trying to listen for breathing issues or check for other problems. That stethoscope grip is pretty average, on a smaller ribcage, as the instrument is really cold and patients flinch. Was your parent present? It is up to you if you ever feel "uncomfortable" but that is not the same thing as being "assaulted".

KellyAlzan

I agree. Was thinking along the same lines.

A male is uncomfortable when a doctor says “turn your head and cough”. That doesn’t mean it’s “assault”

shiftless88

I am a man and no doctor has ever cupped my breast while using a stethoscope.

KellyAlzan

Then you’re gross. Men with breasts are gross

Fiver

I am someone with large breasts and No doctor has ever needed to go near them to hear my heart or hear me breathe. The only time a doctor has needed to touch them is during a breast cancer check, either mammogram or manual check for lumps.

mgoose806

Dr. Torres has been practicing in Frederick for at least 25+ years. How come never heard about this issue before? People talk, especially concerning their children's health and welfare.

shiftless88

Interesting that you victim shame directly after the post that points out the folly of victim shaming

ragincajun

Thank you Mgoose806. I agree...why is everyone jumping on the bandwagon now? why not make your claims when they happen?

Mama

Stef93, I believe you. The same thing happened to me when I was a teenager. I tried to tell adults then and was dismissed because he was such a “good” doctor. My mother was in the room when the touching happened. For those of you that are in doubt, please read up on Larry Nassar. Do not victim shame those of us that have been silent for years. I am now 40. Maybe someone will finally hear my story. Dr. Torres was a trusted family doctor... until he wasn’t. I started seeing him at age four. As a teen, after much unwanted touching, my mother finally took me elsewhere. Things became weird when I hit puberty and it got to be point where I didn’t even want to tell my mom that I was sick. I hope there is justice for all of the people whom he has abused. For those of you that only know him as a wonderful doctor, I’m happy for you. That is not my reality.

Comment deleted.
public-redux

Here’s a good example of why you would make a lousy police officer. Good career call.

Comment deleted.
KellyAlzan

A lousy officer would do something such as arrest without evidence or witnesses

Comment deleted.
public-redux

You ruled out witnesses and any evidence other than pictures ("Pictures, or it never happened"). That's why you would be a lousy police officer. You readily admit that you won't use most types of evidence.

auntTique85

There is a document that your mother signed that stated that all of Dr. Torres's patients are evaluated at age 14, and encouraged to move to a family practice that caters to adults. The document also stated that Dr. Torres would not see patients that were married, even if they were under the age of 18. It was always your option to change practices. As a girl, of course it would feel weird to have a male doctor, especially after puberty. I would imagine that any attention would have felt scary. It would have been sensible to switch you to a doctor who you could see for gyn issues at that age.

Mama

Stop. There is a difference between listening to breathing and groping. This was groping disguised as procedure. A full hand under and into my bra to feel my breasts was scary because it was inappropriate and unnecessary. I do not need to divulge other details. Do not discount my experiences or those of others.

KellyAlzan

You shoulda done something about it then. You wait till now? Society frowns on the Mr Too Movement.

Apexas69

AMEN!!! A serious difference!

Comment deleted.
KellyAlzan

Just a comment public. I’m just here for fun. I have zero interest in law enforcement.

Happy commenting!

Comment deleted.
public-redux

I have a lot of fun with you, Pb.

awmroach

NOT the Dr. Torres we know, our pediatrician of about 20 years. Extremely knowledgeable doctor, always appropriate with our son and daughter. Saved our son from an extreme case of asthma when FMH should have medevac'd him out. Our daughter - also 18 and one of his patients for most of her life - says her "heart hurts" hearing this about Dr. Torres. If my radar is this far off and he IS guilty - then he should pay for it, but it's just too hard to believe. We are in the NO WAY camp. It just can't be. One of the best doctors ever. Trust him explicitly with my children. Please let it not be so . . .

shiftless88

While I agree with your sentiment, one has to acknowledge that just because he was not inappropriate with your daughter does not mean he was not inappropriate with others. I mean, surely if a doctor was inappropriate with every single patient it would get out much sooner. Without saying anything about this particular doctor, people who victimize others look for those who are more vulnerable; those less likely to protest or tell.

BwickGirlAtHeart

[sad]

ragincajun

I agree awmroach I'm right there with you...and my heart has been hurting for him since I read the first article.

KellyAlzan

As much as I believe in the law and Justice being served, I could never be a police officer. What if, just what if, he is innocent? I’m a believer in Karma. If I wrongfully arrested someone, karma would get even through a member of my family.

Could you imagine starting your day like any other day, and next thing you know you’re in jail?

Seems this doctor has a loyal following of families from his practice. Let’s hope he is not found guilty.

On the other hand, sexual interests is the darkest side to individuals. When it comes to sex, people suddenly become someone you never knew. You just never ever know what someone is capable of

public-redux

Wrongful arrest =/= arresting someone who is ultimately not convicted

mrnatural1

Just to clarify -- the definition of "wrongful/false arrest" is:

"False arrest is a common law tort, where a plaintiff alleges they were held in custody without probable cause, or without an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. Although it is possible to sue law enforcement officials for false arrest, the usual defendants in such cases are private security firms."

Many people are arrested but never convicted. That alone does not mean the arrest was false.

In general, with alleged sexual assault cases, people may make seemingly credible claims that result in an arrest. It would be irresponsible not to arrest the alleged perp, given the nature of the claims. However, upon further investigation it may be found that the alleged victim is mentally unstable; has a history of making false claims; was angry about some perceived or real slight (e.g., being passed over for a promotion or job); upset about a romantic relationship ending; attempting extortion; has drug and alcohol issues; and/or is misremembering what took place.

OR -- they may be remembering it perfectly, and telling the truth for no reason other than to protect themselves and others, and get justice. That's for a judge or jury to decide.

The point is that the cops do not know up front, and neither do we. It is important not to 'victim shame' or dismiss claims out-of-hand, but it is equally important that everyone -- both genders, all races, religions, etc -- be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Generally, a defendant must be proven guilty 'beyond a reasonable doubt'. Unfortunately, in the court of public opinion, there are no standards at all, not even 'the preponderance of the evidence' (51% or more).

Also, there is a wide range of harassment and assault. Each case is different. Al Franken does not = Harvey Weinstein. The death penalty; life in prison; and/or complete financial ruin and total destruction of the perp's life is not always the appropriate punishment.

public-redux

But I agree that you aren’t suitable for law enforcement work.

KellyAlzan

Many police officers have serious Karma. I believe it’s from bad arrests and tickets

public-redux

Some people believe there are pots of gold at the ends of rainbows. Belief is easy. It need not comport with evidence. Believe whatevs you want.

KellyAlzan

Thanks mom

public-redux

It takes a village to raise to children. I do my part.

Shemp

Hey News-Post, pediatricians practice pediatrics, not family medicine.

rcfoster

I find it hard to believe too. All those years and this the first complaint? Isn't there normally someone else in the room when there is an examination? Just sounds very odd.

sevenstones1000

Someone always in the room with Dr Larry Nasser. Watch the HBO documentary.

MommyTo2

Except for this wasn’t the first complaint.

mrnatural1

As is almost always the case with alleged crimes (of any nature) that are reported before a trial has been held, it is impossible to come to a firm conclusion.

Based on the highly subjective method known as "reading the comments here in the FNP" -- one might assume it's a misunderstanding. The doctor sure seems to have a lot of support.

OTOH, just because a person acts properly the vast majority of the time does not mean they do so all the time.

Could the child/children involved have been "coached"? Possibly.

Or, if not 'coached', perhaps something the alleged victim(s) said unduly alarmed their parents, who then asked a bunch of leading questions -- and their child, not knowing how to respond, just nodded his/her head and agreed.

Of course, the doctor could be guilty. But for that to be true he would have had to have opportunity -- to be in the exam room with the patient without a nurse and/or parent present. That would be very unusual.

JILLLOLLI

I do not believe any of this!!!!!!

MommyTo2

Hope you never have a daughter that this happens to. You are the reason that victims keep quiet rather than reporting their abuser.

Stef93

this is very believable, he was my pediatrician when I was a little girl and the way he used to "feel my chest" while using the stethoscope was very uncomfortable and inappropriate. I hope he gets what he deserves in jail.

priorparent

Just curious was a parent not in the room with you? And a nurse also? Did you ever tell your parents he made you uncomfortable?

Charles_Nelson_Reilly

Innocent until proven guilty, but if this went in front of a grand jury and they came back with an indictement, it ain't looking good for the Doc.

public-redux

Is he a ham sandwich?

mrnatural1

Agreed Charles.

There's obviously a significant amount of evidence -- enough to go to trial anyway.

Of course that does not mean there is enough to convict.

Judging from the comments here, Dr. Torres has a lot of support, but there are also a few comments alleging some degree of assault.

I'd say there is a good chance that Torres will walk if it comes down to 'he said, she said'. Not that he necessarily should, but it will be very hard to get a conviction without physical evidence (like from a rape kit).

fbbbmom

Based on the interactions my family has had with him for the past 18 years, I don't believe this for a second. I will definitely be following this case to the verdict.

BwickGirlAtHeart

Me too. He was the Ped for both of my sisters 4 18 long years and I took my own 2 girls there til Ages 3 & 5. I left the practice b/c he saw & treated sooo many kids that we just couldn’t handle the long lines & not being to get seen right away. IF these are true-he could be punished. If not true - he should be retired anyway. So sad ... I’ll follow this case all the way to the end.

TINAE

Do not Judge A Book By It's Cover!

jerseygrl42

animal

ragincajun

I do not believe this for one second. Dr. Torres was a kind and caring man. I've never seen him in an office alone with a child. there was always a parent or a nurse in the room with him. Nor have I ever known him to put someone "out" or incapacitated in his office. You will never convince me this is true. NEVER.
Love you Dr. Torres. He was an amazing man!

melaniegrove

I am in shock too. All 3 of my kids go to him, including my 18 year old daughter. I am sad to read this. I shared it with her, she was just there a couple weeks ago. She said he never made her uncomfortable. He is AMAZING and was the only doctor who figured out the best care for my son's medical issues 8 years ago and has taken such wonderful care of him ever since. I also agree he was never alone with them...always a nurse or me in with him and my kids. I don't want to believe this is true!

auntTique85

Absolutely agree. An indictment is not a verdict. The facts will play out.

rbtdt5

Agree, sadly if this turns out to be false it will still ruin him. This is just terrible to hear about.

gabrielshorn2013

I was thinking the same thing rbt. To be accused is to be forever tarred and feathered with suspicion. If he is not guilty, this will never go away. The internet never forgets, and every background check will find this.

shiftless88

Yes, rbt, look at Hillary.

rbtdt5

Shift, Hillary ruined Hillary.

whenpigsfly

Just because someone is kind and nice doesn't mean they can't rape someone.

I too and shocked by these allegations.

KellyAlzan

Former employee?

ragincajun

NO, my son was a former patient. He was recommended to us extremely highly by multiple people. one of whom was a patient of his and now takes her children there. if I didn't live in another state/town my son would still be going to him!
people will mistake one thing for another...makes me wonder the circumstances. even when my son was ill, he would do everything in his power at the time to comfort him. Never a foul word or gesture.
as for the girl who sees him and said he is uncomfortable, some people are not comfortable going to a doctor of the opposite sex.
I still and will stand by him! I still don't believe it.

MD1756

Stef, I'm sure you and the others you know will now be reporting this to the police, right?

whenpigsfly

If your comment was addressed to me .... I am not a former employee just a former patient.

BwickGirlAtHeart

Well honey, he isn’t dead so he still is an amazing man. [beam] Sorry, I’m a bit of a grammar nazi. [rolleyes]

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