Tag: Miami sexual abuse

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.

MIAMI MASSAGE THERAPIST ANTONIO RESTREPO DISCIPLINED FOR SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RESTRICTS LICENSE OF HAND AND STONE MASSAGE THERAPIST ANTONIO RESTREPO 

On Thursday, October 29, 2020, the Florida Department of Health ordered the emergency restriction of the license of Hand & Stone massage therapist, Antonio Restrepo, prohibiting his practice of massage therapy on female clients in the State of Florida.  The Emergency Order was entered in response to a sexual misconduct complaint by a client.  The sexual assault is alleged to have occurred at the Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa located in Miami. Antonio Restrepo, age 50, has been a llicensed massage therapist in Florida since April 2018

On September 17, 2020, Restrepo performed a full body massage on a female client. In the last five minutes of the massage, while she was lying face up, he allegedly rubbed the woman’s breast for one to two minutes and then began to touch her nipples. She immediately told him to stop the massage and leave the room. According to the Order, he then apologized, said he thought she was a beautiful woman, and left the room.

The woman states that she did not consent to Restrepo touching her breasts and nipples. She reported the incident to Hand and Stone later that day. When confronted, Restrepo said, “I did something wrong.”

According to the Department of Health, Restrepo flagrantly disregarded the laws and regulations governing massage therapists by willfully violating the massage therapist-patient relationship.  The Order ensures he can no longer pose an immediate, serious danger to the public’s health, welfare and safety, pending a final hearing by the Department.

When clients book a massage, it is to decompress from the stresses of life. They trust that the massage therapists employed at the spa are carefully vetted and safe to engage with the public. It is unacceptable, immoral and unlawful for any employee to touch a client in a sexual manner.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual assault lawsuits against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were sexually assaulted during massages at Hand and Stone and other spas and resorts. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please 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.

POPULAR MIAMI-DADE TRACK COACH ARRESTED ON CHILD SEX ABUSE CHARGES

POPULAR MIAMI-DADE TRACK COACH ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL BATTERY

Miami Gardens Xpress Track Club founder and head coach Darius Lawshea, 45, turned himself into Miami Gardens police on Sunday, October 25, 2020 after two sisters said he molested them. He reportedly raped the older sister when she was 14, and several years later, the younger sister at 15.

According to one of the arrest reports, the investigation began in November 2019, but this was not the first time parents expressed concern about Lawshea to authorities. Back in June 2012, the mother of a 14-year old girl told police “she felt the communication between her daughter and [Lawshea] was flirtatious and feared for her daughter’s safety.” The investigation was closed citing insufficient evidence. 

In November 2019, a teen and her mother reported concerns about Lawshea, also known as “Coach D,” to Miami Gardens police. They had considered him a family friend. The girl said when he stopped by her house in the summer of 2018, when she was 14, he tried to get into her bathroom as she was coming out of the shower. She locked herself in her bedroom. Another incident occurred on July 4, 2019 when he got her alone in her room and asked if she had ever had a threesome and then offered her $200 for sex. Despite her refusal, she said Lawshea bear hugged her from behind and grinded against her. She said he came by later that month while she was home alone and tried to kiss her on the mouth and breast.

The daughter didn’t tell her mother, but she did tell her then-boyfriend on FaceTime while Lawshea was in the house. Her boyfriend told her mother and then to Miami Gardens police in August 2020.

According to the report, Lawshea “stated that he is known to be too friendly with his kids (young ladies he has trained in his track program).” He admitted dropping in on the girl “to check on her.” The mother told investigators she remembered her older daughter said Lawshea tried to pick her up and carry her into his bedroom once in 2010. 

In September 2020, Miami Gardens police asked the older daughter about the attempted lift-and-carry incident years earlier. She said she was running track for a team Lawshea coached. The meet was in Orlando, so she stayed at his house. She said he forced oral and vaginal sex on her, and described both his apartment and his penis. She also said on the way home from track practice, he pulled his car over and raped her in the car on two separate occasions.

The report stated she didn’t come forward in 2010 because “she was fearful because Mr. Lawshea was loved by everyone in the community and she didn’t want to get into trouble.”But “when she heard that Mr. Lawshea had sexually molested her little sister, she knew it was important to finally speak up.”

According to the arrest report, at least one more alleged victim has come forward. Lawshea now faces two counts of child molestation and three counts of sexual battery on a minor. Bond was denied on all of the counts against him and he is still in jail.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested by a coach, 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.