Tag: Miami Sex Abuse Attorney

Rick Torcise Horowitz Law

Homestead Youth Pastor Rick Torcise Arrested For Sex Misconduct With Teen

Rick Torcise, a youth leader and Pastor at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship of Homestead, Florida, was arrested Tuesday, November 16, 2021, after claims were made that he repeatedly molested a teenage boy from his church. Torcise, age 67, entered a not guilty plea and was sentenced to a first-degree felony sexual battery charge. Torcise was released on a $10,000 bond, and the judge ordered him to stay away from the victim and any other minors.  Detectives fear Torcise may have sexually abused other minors who Torcise met as youth pastor and through a youth baseball league in which he was invovled.

The arrest report states that the 17-year-old victim said he engaged in sexual acts with Ricky Torcise from June to October of this year.  The boy told Miami-Dade police officers that he met Torcise at his church in June and that Torcise hired him to help out on his farm. The victim claims that he was groomed for several months while working on the farm. Finally, the teen confided to his father that Torcise repeatedly molested him and intimidated him into performing sexual acts in October. When they reported it to the Miami-Dade police, the victim stated that Torcise allegedly fondled him, rubbed his hands over the boy’s thighs and buttocks over his clothing several times, and forced him to give and receive oral sex with him. The boy claimed he did so out of fear. 

Detectives and the boy’s attorney fear that Torcise could have groomed and abused many other boys over the years, as he hired dozens to work on his farm. Detective Argemis Colome, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department, commented, “This is a person that the community trusts; this is a person that parents trust to guide their children. We’re asking anybody that may have had any interaction with this individual … this is the time to give us a call. We’re very fortunate that they came forward, which is why it’s very important to have that open line of communication with our children, so they can trust us in telling us when these situations are happening.”

Torcise is a title trustee of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship of Homestead, a youth leader, farmer, and businessman. He was also the manager of Florida Legends Baseball. Torcise’s arraignment is set for December 16. 

Torcise is just one of many authority figures to face charges this year for having inappropriate actions with a minor. This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Parents should feel confident that their children are safe with church officials and trust that their children will be cared for and protected from harm.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has substantial experience representing victims of sexual abuse in the church. If you have been a victim of sexual misconduct by Ricky Torcise or have any knowledge about such events at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship of Homestead, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz today.

Jossie Calderon Horowitz Law

Miami Lakes Teacher Jossie Calderon Arrested For Sexual Misconduct With Two Students

Jossie Calderon, a math teacher at Barbara Goleman Senior High School in Miami Lakes, was arrested on Friday, November 12, 2021, for alleged sexual misconduct with  two female students. Calderon, age 27, was charged on two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child between 12-16 years old, two counts of offenses against students by authority figures, two counts of child abuse without great bodily harm, and one count of battery.

According to media reports, Calderon was taken into police custody after multiple claims were recently made against him. On November 1, 2021, a 15-year-old female student told the school’s guidance counselor that Calderon rubbed her on the lower back and buttocks during a chess club meeting. The student also claims this was the second time Calderon touched her inappropriately. According to the arrest report, the first time was in September 2021, when the South Florida teacher felt up the student’s legs and touched her thighs. She told the counselor that he left his hand there for an extended period, which made her feel uncomfortable. The police report also states that Calderon touched the victim’s “buttocks over her clothes, caressing her.” A video was obtained from the school that confirmed the student’s allegations.  “It was not a tap, instead, the offender placed his hand on the victim’s legs and left his hand there for several moments,” stated the first student.

On November 5, a second student reported to the school’s resource officer that she was molested by Calderon during a math tutoring class. The 16-year-old victim claims that Calderon also touched her on two separate occasions while she was in Calderon’s class seeking extra credit for math class.

The second victim states, “He approached me from the rear and introduced his right hand under my sweater by the neck area.” She also said that Calderon “softly rubbed her back.”

According to the arrest report, both victims are seeking counseling for trauma they endured. Calderon was released after posting $21,500 bail. A court date has not been set yet.

Jossie Calderon is just one of several South Florida teachers to face charges this year for having inappropriate actions with a student. This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Schools should always be a place where parents can trust that their children will be cared for and protected from harm.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has substantial experience representing victims of sexual abuse in the school system. If you have been a victim of sexual misconduct by Jossie Calderon or have any knowledge about such events at Barbara Goleman Senior High School, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz today.

Aaron Hamid Horowitz Law

Miami High School Teacher Aaron Hamid Surrenders After Charged With Having Sex With Student

Aaron Aziz Hamid, a teacher at John A. Ferguson Senior High School in Miami, surrendered to Miami-Dade Police on Monday, November 8, 2021, after being arrested for sexual abuse of a 16-year-old student. Hamid, age 27, was taken into custody, and then charged with three felony counts, including offenses against students by authority figures and unlawful sexual activity with a specified minor.

According to media reports, an investigation began in October 2021, after Hamid was accused of inappropriate behavior with a student. At the start of the Covid pandemic, the then 16-year-old alleged victim was a junior in Hamid’s advanced placement history class, which she attended via Zoom.

According to police reports, Hamid and his student began communicating using the Remind App Communication platform and exchanged phone numbers. The student told police that Hamid would often pick her up and that sexual activity took place in his car or at his Cutler Bay home while he was still her teacher. The report stated that the student’s best friend notified a school staff member in October that an inappropriate relationship was going on and the police were then contacted. 

The alleged victim stated that the defendant contacted her the morning that the alleged incident was reported, and she deleted content that could be incriminating information from her phone. The arrest report also states that the sexual contact between Hamid and his student lasted approximately one year. 

Although Hamid was not arrested until he surrendered on November 8, he was placed on an alternate assignment while the allegation was investigated. District officials say he has now been fired. Miami-Dade County Public Schools released the following statement regarding the arrest: “An allegation of this nature against any one of our employees is disheartening and illicit behavior will not be tolerated. Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) will continue to remind employees of their professional, moral and ethical duties and responsibilities. As a result of this arrest, this individual’s employment with M-DCPS will be terminated immediately and he will be prevented from seeking future work with the District.”

Hamid is just one of several South Florida teachers to face charges this year for having inappropriate actions with a student. This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Schools should always be a place where parents can trust that their children will be cared for and protected from harm.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has substantial experience representing victims of sexual abuse in the school system. If you have been a victim of sexual misconduct by Aaron Hamid or have any knowledge about such events at John A. Ferguson Senior High School, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz today.

Heiry Calvi Horowitz Law

Pregnant Doral Teacher Heiry Calvi Arrested for Having Sex With Underage Student

Heiry Calvi, a 41-year-old teacher at John I. Smith K-8 Center in Doral, Florida was arrested on October 8, 2021, after facing accusations of having unlawful sexual contact with a 15-year-old male student.

According to police records, Doral police began their investigation back in March 2021, when they received a complaint from the Department of Children and Families that a teacher was having intercourse with an underage student who attended John I. Smith K-8 Center, located at 10415 NW 52nd St, Doral, FL 33178.

Multiple students had reported to faculty members that the boy was showing off videos of himself and Calvi having sex. The school reported it to the appropriate authorities and Doral Police got permission to search the 15-year-old’s cellphone. The report states that detectives found photos of the teen naked with Calvi, along with text messages between the two, expressing their love for each other. The student and teacher first became close when Calvi began tutoring him at his house in late 2020.

“There were photographs that were certainly inappropriate, that indicate that there was in fact an inappropriate relationship,” said Doral Police spokesperson Rey Valdes. Miami-Dade County Public Schools officials said she was removed from the classroom and put her on administrative duties where she had no contact with students immediately after the school learned about the allegations in March, but wasn’t arrested until now.  It has been confirmed that the married teacher is in fact pregnant, but no published reports at this time on the identity of the father. Calvi declined to comment on the allegations.

Calvi was charged with two felony charges including lewd and lascivious battery and electronic transmission harmful to minors. She was also in possession of a firearm on school property. She was released on bond.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools released the following statement regarding the arrest:
“Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is disturbed by today’s arrest involving inappropriate employee behavior. When the District was apprised of these allegations in March, the employee was immediately reassigned to a non-school site location. The District will begin employment termination proceedings and will ensure the individual is prevented from seeking future employment with this school system. M-DCPS will continue to review its employee training to ensure that our workforce is fully aware of the District’s professional expectations of them and their ethical obligation to safeguard children.”

Calvi is the third South Florida teacher to face charges this week for having inappropriate actions with a student. This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Schools should always be a place where parents can trust that their children will be cared for and protected from harm.

Attorney Adam Horowitz has substantial experience representing victims of sexual abuse in the school system. If you have been a victim of sexual misconduct by Heiry Calvi or have any knowledge about such events at John I. Smith K-8 Center, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz today.

Yadiel Perez Delgado Horowitz Law

Hialeah Psychiatric Hospital Technician Yadiel Perez Delgado Arrested on Sexual Battery of Patient

On Monday, May 10, 2021, Yadiel Perez Delgado, age 34, has been arrested and charged with sexual battery. Perez Delgado, a mental health hospital technician, is accused of raping a female patient on May 10, 2021 at Southern Winds Hospital, located at 4225 W 20th Ave, Hialeah, FL 33012.

The alleged victim reported the abuse to another hospital staff member, who then called the Hialeah Police.  According to the police report, the victim was alone in her room, she walked into her bathroom, and she noticed Perez Delgado entering the room, partially closing the door.

Perez Delgado allegedly then walked into the bathroom, held the patient down, and forcibly raped her. She claims that he stopped when her roommate walked into the room. The arrest report states that Perez Delgado denied raping the woman but admitted to digitally penetrating her, which he claimed was consensual. After reviewing the surveillance video, Hialeah police arrested Perez Delgado on charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment, and sexual misconduct in a mental health facility. 

The alleged victim informed the detectives of another incident involving inappropriate touching on a different patient by Perez Delgado, which the Hialeah Police Department says they are also investigating.

Perez Delgado has been a mental health technician at Southern Winds for about six weeks, and it was his job to check on his patients every 15 minutes. “Under no circumstances was he allowed to close the door; they aren’t supposed to close the bedroom door while in a patient’s room doing their job,” stated the chief nursing officer. Southern Winds CEO, Ana Bovo, released a statement saying that Perez-Delgado had been fired.

According to the Florida Department of Health’s license verification site, Yadiel Perez Delgado isn’t listed as a Florida licensed medical professional.

If you or someone you know has been subjected to sexual misconduct by a physician or at a doctor’s office or hospital, it is important to have experienced legal counsel. We are experienced in handling cases involving sexual assault by doctors and other medical personnel. If you have been a victim of sexual assault by a doctor in a hospital or medical office, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com 

Yosef Benita Horowitz Law

Miami Rabbi Yosef Benita Arrested for Sexual Misconduct, Charges Later Dropped

On Wednesday, April 28, a Miami Gardens Rabbi and Jewish day school teacher was arrested on four counts of child molestation charges.  Yosef Benita, age 37, is a teacher at Lubavitch Educational Center, located at 7330 NW 7th Ave, Miami, FL 33169. 

Yosef Benita voluntarily surrendered to the Miami Gardens Police Department and is being held without bond at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center for allegedly inappropriately touching a 10-year-old student during a tutoring session. The boy told his father on March 14 that his teacher intentionally touched him in his private area on three occasions and that Benita touched his own penis over his clothes. The alleged victim asked Benita to stop, but he continued, according to Miami-Dade police. The police also say that since the investigation started, a second alleged victim came forward.

School officials released a statement Wednesday night that reads, in part, “We take any claim of inappropriate behavior very seriously, which is why we immediately reported to the appropriate authorities.”

UPDATE: On July 27, 2021, it was reported that the criminal charges against Rabbi Yosef Benita were dropped based on a recording of a Zoom call between Lubavitch Educational Center and the child, where according to prosecutors, the child said that the rabbi tickled him, but did not touch his private parts. Faculty at the school also spoke to another child alleged to be a victim, who said, according to a close out memo from the State Attorney’s office, “…the defendant had touched him once as he was leaving the room and was not sure if the touching was an accident as it happened in passing.”

Schools are educational institutions in which children can learn and develop skills in a nurturing environment. It is expected that they are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and sexual abuse.  Teachers are entrusted to facilitate learning and support the educational needs of their students. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place tutoring or otherwise working in the school system. Any school in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility for protect its students. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse in schools and other educational settings. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped, or sexually molested by a principal, teacher, or another school employee, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

 

Alexandra Handwerger Horowitz Law sexual

Miami Beach Teacher Alexandra Handwerger Fired for Sexual Misconduct

Alexandra Handwerger, a 48-year old English teacher at Miami Beach’s Hebrew Academy, was fired on January 30, 2021, for allegedly sending nude videos and photos to current and former male students, including some who are now studying abroad in Israel.  A criminal investigation is ongoing.

According to an incident report, administrators at Miami Beach Hebrew Academy received an anonymous email informing them that a teacher was sending lewd and inappropriate pictures. The email also had a phone number, which led them to an administrator of a school in Israel that told Miami administrators that a female teacher from Hebrew Academy had been sending her male students (who were 18 years old or over) inappropriate nude photos and videos.

The school reported the teacher to the Miami Beach police on February 19, and although they are currently conducting an investigation, Handwerger has not been criminally charged at this time.  When questioned about the photos, Handwerger initially claimed she could not recall any of it, but then later admitted to taking the pictures/videos but doesn’t know how the students got them.

Handwerger was not only a teacher at the Academy but the head of the English department.  The academy addressed the matter in a letter to parents that read, in part, “We received information that there is a video and possible photos of a former teacher that are inappropriate. It is our understanding that some graduates and current students may have received copies of the videos and/or photos. We are unaware of how our students received the videos/photos at this time, but have been and continue to conduct a thorough investigation regarding the entirety of this serious matter.”

Handwerger is the estranged wife of former WSVN reporter Rosh Lowe. Lowe claims he is deeply distraught by this matter and that he is taking the allegations very seriously.  Handwerger is also known publicly as Alex Lowe.

Schools are educational institutions in which children can learn and develop skills in a nurturing environment. It is expected that they be safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and sexual abuse.  Teachers are entrusted to facilitate learning and support the educational needs of their students. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place working in the school system. Any school in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility for failing to properly screen potential teacher and protect their students. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse in schools and other educational settings. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested by a principal, teacher or other other school employee, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

 

Fr. Arnulfo Arandia – Archdiocese of Miami

Father Arnulfo Arandia

Archdiocese of Miami

 

Ordained: 1980

Removed: 2002

Assignment History:

  • Unknown:  Diocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry
  • 1988-1989: San Isidro Church (Pompano Beach, FL)
  • 1991:  St. Rita’s Church (Palm Beach County)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Arnulfo Arandia:

Fr. Arnulfo Arandia, was a priest in Guayaquil, Ecuador Diocese, ordained in 1980. 

In 2002, Arandia was accused of sexually abusing a former altar boy in 1988 behind San Isidro Church in Pompano Beach, Florida. The abuse allegedly took place in the boys’ trailer home behind the church because his family was having difficulties. The boy was 15 years old and reported the abuse to a deacon; According to media reports, Arandia was immediately transferred. The accuser also named Fr. Castellano as an abuser. 

In 2002, Arandia’s facilities were removed and he was suspended once the allegations surfaced. In 2004, the prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges due to the statute of limitations.

In 2019, Arandia was included on the Diocese of Jackson list named as being credibly accused of child sex abuse. It notes allegations reported in 2002 in reference to abuse of a minor in 1988. 

His current whereabouts are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Miami in Florida. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.