Frederick, MD – A Maryland pediatrician accused of sexually assaulting nearly a dozen of his patients will still be allowed to practice medicine pending the outcome of his case.
A grand jury indicted 68-year-old Dr. Ernesto Torres on charges of second-degree assault, second-degree rape, and fourth-degree sexual offense on May 3, The Frederick News-Post reported.
Additional charges may be forthcoming, Frederick county State’s Attorney Charlie Smith said in a press release.
“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,” Smith added.
The Frederick Police Department (FPD) opened an investigation into Torres on April 26, after an 18-year-old patient reported that the doctor had raped her during an examination.
The woman, who had been one of Torres’ patients since he was a child, said that the doctor placed his hand down her pants for several minutes during the examination.
She said that she was afraid, and that she felt trapped during the assault.
Torres later told police that he touched the victim’s pelvic area for one to two minutes, Assistant State’s Attorney Tammy Leache said during the hearing, according to The Frederick News-Post.
Torres was arrested at his home on Tuesday morning, WBFF reported.
Leache said that the initial sexual assault report has led to 11 active investigations against the longtime pediatrician, according to The Frederick News-Post.
Some of the allegations stretch back over 30 years, she said.
The additional victims came forward after the grand jury indictment, to include an 11-year-old girl, WJZ reported.
“We will review each one independently of the other to determine whether they are sufficient to charge,” Smith told WBAL. “We again encourage anyone with information regarding the case to contact authorities immediately.”
Despite prosecutors’ request that Torres, a green card holder, be held in jail with no bond, Frederick County Circuit Court Judge Julia Martz-Fisher ordered that his bail be set at $100,000 on Wednesday, The Frederick News-Post reported.
Once he is released, Torres will be on house arrest, but will be allowed to leave for work, religious services, and medical appointments.
He was ordered not to have any unsupervised contact with patients or minors, and Martz-Fisher said she will leave the medical board to decide whether or not Torres should be prohibited from practicing medicine altogether.