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Tampa man charged with sexually abusing three boys at West Shore complex

TAMPA — Police arrested a 43-year-old man early Saturday and charged him with sexually abusing three boys who live in his apartment complex.

Luis Torres was charged with two counts of sexual battery on a victim under 12, two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a victim age 12 to 16 and one count of soliciting a sex act with a child ages 12 to 16.

Tampa police's investigation of Torres began on July 23, when a 12-year-old boy told officers Torres inappropriately touched him when he spent the night at Torres' Camden Bayside apartment, according to an arrest report.

The boy later told detectives during a forensic interview that he witnessed Torres abusing two other boys who live in the apartment complex, ages 9 and 7, the report said.

Both of the other boys confirmed the abuse in interviews — one claimed he was picked up and taken into a bedroom and the other said he was cornered in Torres' bathroom, the report said.

Police arrested Torres at his apartment complex, 6401 S West Shore Blvd., at 12:34 a.m., according to arrest records.

Deanna Leonti, 49, who lives one floor below Torres said she never saw or heard anything Saturday morning.

"I'm just like in shock," said Leonti, a casino employee who has lived in the complex for a year.

"I don't know anything about that but I have seen his nieces and nephews come and visit him on the weekend."

Leonti said the children often visited for the weekend, and Torres would take them to the apartment community pool.

"You need adult supervision to use the pool, so other kids would go over there with them," she said.

According to the arrest report, Torres met all three victims through a child they believe to be his nephew.

"He seems like a good uncle from what I can see," Leonti said. "He even bought the children clothes."

In 1999, Torres was arrested and accused of sexually abusing four young boys in his apartment. Those charges were dismissed, according to state records.

Saturday evening, Torres was being held without bail in the Hillsborough County Jail.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Tampa man charged with sexually abusing three boys at West Shore complex 07/28/12 [Last modified: Saturday, July 28, 2012 11:11pm]
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