Ricky Torcise Florida youth leader
Ricky Torcise, a former youth leader at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship of Homestead, Florida, has been arrested after authorities say he repeatedly molested a teenage boy from his church. (Photo: Miami-Dade Police Department)

Letter Reveals Florida Church Knew of Alleged Sex Abuse Months Before Youth Leader Arrest

By Sarah Einselen

Only weeks ago, authorities arrested Florida youth leader, Ricky Torcise, and charged him with repeatedly molesting a teenage boy. Now, there’s evidence Torcise’s church was warned months ago about Torcise’s behavior—but did nothing.

In a letter obtained by The Roys Report, the parent of an alleged victim of Torcise’s writes to Pastor Jordan Caldwell of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship in Homestead, Florida: “My son . . . has confided in me that when he was younger that Rick Torcise behaved inappropriately with him sexually in many ways.” The letter was dated June 18, 2021.

The parent, who reportedly stayed anonymous to protect the son, expressed concerns Torcise may have abused others.

“I realize Rick may still be having access around young boys/men and if so that could be a very terrible thing for them,” the parent wrote. “One thing our culture has learned is that pedophiles never change – so I don’t believe that my son was an isolated incident.”

The writer asked Pastor Caldwell “to pray and seek the Holy Spirit’s leading on this.”

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“I am confident that the truth will come out eventually, it always does,” the letter concludes. “I just know that if I am silent about what I know, then I am equally guilty by my being silent.”

According to the Miami Herald, Caldwell allowed Torcise to keep leading boys’ Bible studies because Torcise denied the allegations and the letter did not identify the alleged victim.

Michael Davis, the attorney representing Torcise, didn’t immediately respond when The Roys Report asked for comment.

Ricky Torcise Florida
On June 18, 2021, a concerned parent and parishioner sent a letter to Pastor Jordan Caldwell of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship in Homestead, Fla.

A detective testified during Torcise’s bond hearing that Caldwell told police that without a named victim, he couldn’t do much.

All in all, the church responded “abysmally,” said John Priovolos, the attorney representing the victim. “It wasn’t a response. It was a non-response. And that’s the problem.”

Priovolos said the church ought to have at least told police about the allegations. Instead, they told Torcise, he said.

“So you got a guy like Rick, who hears it, now is outed, looks to the pastor and whoever else confronted him, possibly the lawyer, denies it, goes on to be a youth leader of the church . . . and wasn’t deterred whatsoever by the fact that others knew he might have this propensity to do these types of bad things to children,” Priovolos said.

“What they did was flat wrong. And they need to be held accountable for it.”

Caldwell provided the email to police after Torcise’s arrest in November, the Herald reported. Caldwell didn’t immediately reply when The Roys Report emailed asking for comment, and no one picked up when we called the church.

However, the church emailed congregants after news broke of Torcise’s arrest, Priovolos said. That email, which Priovolos gave to The Roys Report, called the news “very concerning” and stated, “we are maintaining a neutral position and allowing the authorities and legal representatives to handle this matter and do their work.”

In a phone interview, Priovolos told The Roys Report the church’s email “doesn’t seem to me to say we got your back, parents,” or contain any request for parents to contact authorities if they think their child might have been a victim.

“It’s our job as shepherds to protect our flock,” said Priovolos, who’s also a lifelong churchgoer and current church council member. “I didn’t see any of that in the letter, did you?”

Torcise was initially allowed to bond out by mistake, but his bond was revoked Nov. 30 and he was jailed again. He remains in the Miami-Dade County Jail pending another hearing on Dec. 7.

Email sent to members of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship in response to arrest of Ricky Torcise

New Beginnings Christian Fellowship Florida

Sarah Einselen is an award-winning writer and editor based in Texas.

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2 thoughts on “Letter Reveals Florida Church Knew of Alleged Sex Abuse Months Before Youth Leader Arrest”

  1. I think when Pastors and those in authority respond so fecklessly in these circumstances are perhaps hiding things themselves. When someone makes a report the first action is to call the authorities, suspend the accused and support the victim until the truth can be discovered. Time is critical! What is wrong with pastors who respond like this?

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