Sunday, February 25, 2018
Public safety

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.

Comments
‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

He was chronically depressed, beguiled by firearms and violence, an oddball ostracized by peers and prone to angry outbursts.He experienced, in rapid succession, blows of the sort that can send a disturbed, isolated young man hurtling into a spiral o...
Updated: 20 minutes ago

One man stabbed to death during Saturday incident in Plant City

PLANT CITY — A man stabbed another man to death Saturday night, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The two men, neither of whom were identified, got into "an altercation," deputies said, about 10:15 p.m. at 4308 James L Redman Park...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Published: 02/24/18
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Published: 02/24/18
Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

TAMPA — A male motorcyclist died early Saturday morning on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the Tampa Police Department said.About 1:35 a.m., the victim rode his motorcycle west on the Courtney Campbell at high speeds, police said. The motorcycle stru...
Published: 02/24/18
Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating allegations that multiple deputies failed to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after the shooting rampage there, adding to the mounting internal probes examin...
Published: 02/24/18
Police: Registered sex offender who attacked Marriott hotel worker arrested

Police: Registered sex offender who attacked Marriott hotel worker arrested

TAMPA — A registered sex offender was arrested early Saturday morning by Tampa Police in connection with a hotel worker who was attacked earlier this week, the department said.John Eckhard, 41, was arrested about 1:30 a.m. on charges of aggravated ba...
Published: 02/24/18
Parents accused of torturing their 13 children face new charges

Parents accused of torturing their 13 children face new charges

The 13 Turpin siblings gained their freedom last month after one of them escaped through a window and called 911, ending years of imprisonment under parents accused of starving and chaining them to their beds in a putrid home not far from Los Angeles...
Published: 02/24/18
Concerned about gun posts, dad turns in son’s phones. Cops find something else.

Concerned about gun posts, dad turns in son’s phones. Cops find something else.

After the Parkland school shooting that horrified the nation, a Miami father told police he was worried about his son’s disturbing posts with guns on Instagram and Snapchat.So he gave investigators his son’s smartphones — and they found child porn, c...
Published: 02/24/18
Trump processes Fla. students’ grief as president, parent

Trump processes Fla. students’ grief as president, parent

WASHINGTON — Once again, it was the images of children that propelled President Donald Trump to act. Trump spent the first days after the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida fixated on the grieving and anguished students and parents. While at his Flor...
Published: 02/24/18