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Florida Youth Leader Arrested on Charges He Molested Teen Boy

A youth group leader at a Miami-area church has been arrested on charges that he fondled a teenage boy and forced him to perform a sex act.

Rick Torcise, 67, a trustee of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship of Homestead and leader of the church’s youth group, was charged with engaging in a sexual act with a child, the Miami Herald reported.

An attorney for the victim, John Priovolos, told the Herald that Torcise also led Bible studies and church trips for groups that included teen boys, and that he had hired several boys to work on his local farm.

“This is a person that the community trusts, this is a person that parents trust to guide their children,” said Miami-Dade Police Department Detective Argemis Colome in a statement.

A police report said the 17-year-old victim was fondled in his thigh area and buttocks over his clothing multiple times over several months in 2021, per WPLG, and that in October, Torcise performed oral sex on the teen. He then allegedly asked the teen to perform oral sex on him, which the boy said he did “out of fear.”

Torcise was arrested Nov. 16 and was released from a Miami-Dade jail after posting a $10,000 bond.

Miami-Dade detectives are seeking information on other possible victims.

“We will not stop until Torcise and anyone who was aware of his despicable conduct is brought to justice,” Privolos said.

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Anne Stych

Anne Stych is a writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.