Maryland pediatrician gets jail for sexually abusing patient

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BALTIMORE (AP) — A Maryland pediatrician has been sentenced to a year in a county detention facility for sexually abusing an 18-year-old patient he had been treating since she was a baby.

Ernesto Torres, 69, was sentenced Monday, news outlets report. He’ll get credit for the about 230 days he’s served on house arrest since his arrest in May.

Last month, Torres was convictedof second-degree assault and fourth-degree sexual offense of the patient. He was found not guilty of second-degree rape.

Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says the judge ruled the pediatrician didn’t use force during the assault, so found him not guilty of the rape charge. He said he disagreed with the verdict as the nature of the sexual abuse was inherently forcible.

The victim testified that she had been seeing Torres since she was a baby and finally made an appointment one Friday to visit him alone to discuss the effectiveness of a new prescription for her anxiety, according to WUSA-TV.She said Torres unexpectedly began conducting a physical exam on her as soon as they were alone. She said he asked her to lie back and then shoved his hand in her pants, touching her for more than five minutes as she sobbed.

“He was standing over me. I couldn’t get up,” the victim testified. “I was very emotional and I was crying.”

She said she emerged from the exam room to find the rest of the office’s staff had left.

Torres’ defense attorney, Margaret Teahan, argued her client should be allowed to avoid jail as he’s a first-time offender.

Smith has said Torres’ arrest and indictment caused at least 11 more victims to come forward. The Frederick Police Department said one of the victims was 11 years old. Torres has since been charged with 65 other offenses including rape and child sex abuse. The allegations span his entire medical career, starting in 1979, according to WBAL-TV.

Torres medical license has been revoked by the state Board of Physicians, prosecutor Tammy Leache said during Monday’s hearing.

The status of the other cases against Torres are unclear.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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