SOUTH MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida church youth leader has been charged with engaging in sexual acts with a minor.
Rick Torcise, 67, faced a judge on Wednesday after a 17-year-old victim came forward accusing Torcise of fondling him on multiple occasions between June and October.
According to the arrest report, Torcise then asked the teen to do the same to him, and he complied out of fear.
“We’re very fortunate that this minor came to us and told us what was going on,” said Miami-Dade Police detective Argemis Colome.
Torcise was a youth leader at an unspecified church in South Miami-Dade. He was arrested outside his home, also in South Miami-Dade.
Investigators said they have not disclosed the name of the church to protect the victim’s identity.
John Priovolos, the victim’s attorney, released a statement that reads in part, “People like Torcise prey on the vulnerable. This time, he got more than he bargained for. My client was not too weak. He is strong, and I am proud to represent him. We will not stop until Torcise and anyone who was aware of his despicable conduct is brought to justice. We believe that there may be other victims, and if so, they must know that they are not alone.”
“It’s a person that the community trusts. This is a person that parents trust their children with, be their leader at a church, so definitely something that is shocking to hear,” said Colome.
Torcise has since posted a $10,000 bond.
He was ordered not to have any contact with the victim or anyone under the age of 18.
Torcise is scheduled to be arraigned in December.
Miami-Dade Police are now asking any other possible victims to come forward or call the Special Victims Bureau at 305-715-3300.
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