Former Md. pediatrician facing sex abuse charges found incompetent to stand trial

A former Frederick, Maryland, pediatrician facing multiple charges of sexual abuse of children has been found incompetent to stand trial.

Ernesto Torres, 70, continues to be held in a state psychiatric hospital on 98 counts of sexual abuse against 19 juvenile victims from 2001 to 2019.

Frederick County Circuit Court Judge Julie Stevenson Solt concluded that Torres’ psychiatrist could be correct that Torres suffers from a delusional disorder and thus is incapable of assisting in his own defense.

“Unfortunately our victims aren’t going to get their day in court, they’re not going to have the ability to confront their offender … we have 98 counts of sex offenses against this guy, 19 separate juvenile victims. It’s tough enough for an adult victim to step forward, much less with a juvenile victim,” said Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith.

While the state’s expert psychiatrist told a June 23 hearing that Torres was competent to stand trial, the defendant’s psychiatrist testified that Torres has a delusion of an “Evil Black Witch.” The judge concluded that each psychiatric finding is possible so she could not conclude, beyond reasonable doubt, that Torres is competent.

There’ll be another competency review for Torres in 90 days and subsequent annual reviews.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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