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Judge convicts Frederick pediatrician of sex offense against 18-year-old patient

Dr. Ernesto Torres is accused of raping a patient during a medical exam
Posted at 3:44 PM, Nov 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-04 15:44:25-05

FREDERICK, Md. (WMAR) — A Judge ruled on Friday, that a Frederick pediatrician was not guilty of raping an 18-year-old patient.

Frederick County Circuit Court Judge William R. Nicklas Jr. did find Dr. Ernesto Torres guilty of second degree assault and fourth degree sex offense.

Police launched an investigation into Torres on April 28, after the victim told her parents Torres sexually assaulted during a medical examination two days earlier.

RELATED: 11 more possible victims come forward against pediatrician accused of raping patient

An officer went to the victim's home and collected her pants she was wearing during the alleged incident.

Detectives then visited Torres at his home the next day and confirmed with him that he saw the patient on the day of the reported assault.

That same day, Torres consented to a DNA swab and a recorded interview with detectives.

In the interview, Torres admitted that he probably touched the victim in her lower private area.

On May 3, the case was brought to a grand jury who ultimately decided to indict Torres.

During a nearly four day bench trial, prosecutors alleged the victim showed up at Torres's office for a scheduled appointment at around 4 p.m. on April 26.

The victim, a lifelong patient of Torres was coming in to discuss her anxiety medication.

After a nurse took the victim's vitals, Torres came into the exam room and began to check her eyes, ears, and joints. The two also talked about the patient's anxiety.

During the exam the victim began experiencing anxiety, at which point Torres had the victim lay down on the exam table.

Prosecutors told the judge that Torres started to examine the victim's abdominal area, and put his hands down the patient's pants for several minutes while touching the victim's genital region.

Torres stopped the assault when the victim began crying and having a runny nose.

Afterwards, Torres and the victim talked for an extended period of time. The conversation ended with Torres giving her a hug, and walking the patient out, so she could drive home and take a shower.

In court, prosecutors said Torres was left alone with the victim for a significant period of time, because his staff had gone home at 4:30 p.m. that day.

Sentencing has been scheduled for December 19.

READ MORE: Frederick pediatrician charged with additional sexual offenses after more victims come forward

Torres is also facing dozens of other similar charges related to 11 additional victims that have come forward accusing Torres of sexual assault.

Those cases will be going to trial sometime in March 2020.

Prosecutors are also investigating other allegations of sexual assault involving Torres, with one accusation being made as recently as last week according to officials.