Maryland pediatrician sentenced for sexually assaulting patient

A Frederick, Maryland, pediatrician will spend a year in the county detention center after a judge found him guilty of sexually assaulting a patient.

Ernesto Torres, 69, who has been on house arrest, will get credit for time served, and the state’s attorney’s office confirmed that a judge merged the two remaining charges, sentencing Torres to the maximum for fourth-degree sex offense, which is one year.

When Judge William Nicklas Jr. convicted the doctor on charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree sex offense after a bench trial in November, he also acquitted the doctor of a rape charge.

The judge ruled that prosecutors were unable to prove that Torres touched the 18-year-old victim’s genitals while conducting an exam for stomach pains.

The acquittal on the rape charge did not sit well for Frederick County State’s Attorney Charles Smith, who called it a verdict “we did not particularly agree with. … I respect [Nicklas] as a judge; I just think he got this one wrong.”

Smith said the judge acquitted Torres on the rape charge in November because he found the doctor did not use force; but Smith said the nature of the sexual abuse was inherently forcible.

Torres was arrested on a charge of second-degree rape and was released in May after posting a $100,000 bond.

Several victims came forward following his arrest, all of whom were girls between the ages of 11 and 18 when the abuse occurred, according to Smith.

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