Ricky Torcise youth leader Florida
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)

Police: Florida Youth Leader, Businessman Abused Teen From His Church

By Sarah Einselen

A Florida church youth leader was arrested this week after authorities say he repeatedly molested a teenage boy from his church and intimidated the boy into performing a sex act.

Ricky Eugene Torcise, 67, was jailed Tuesday on a first-degree felony sexual battery charge, a Miami-Dade Police arrest report shows. Florida law for that charge doesn’t permit bond to be set. However, Torcise was allowed out of jail on $10,000 bond due to a clerical error, the state attorney’s office told WPLG.

Torcise is an elder and youth leader at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship of Homestead, Florida, news reports indicate. He’s also a farmer and businessman.

No one picked up when The Roys Report called the church and no one replied immediately to an email requesting comment. But, as of this week, Torcise was one of three trustees listed on the church’s state incorporation records. (He was removed in paperwork filed Friday.)

The boy, who’s 17, told police Torcise was both his youth group leader and his employer, the arrest report shows. But from June through mid-October, the boy told police, Torcise was his abuser, too.

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Torcise repeatedly fondled him over the four-month period, he told law enforcement. Then in October, the boy said, Torcise carried out oral sex on him and he gave Torcise oral sex “out of fear,” too, according to the arrest report.

Florida law makes it a first-degree felony for an adult to have sexual contact with a juvenile under their authority, whether or not the youth is willing.

Torcise went in for questioning and invoked his right to an attorney, then was arrested Wednesday, the arrest report shows. Court records indicate he entered a plea of not guilty the next day and bonded out Thursday.

An attorney for Torcise didn’t return a call requesting comment Friday, and neither did an attorney representing the boy and his family. But the boy’s attorney, John Priovolos, told the Miami Herald that the boy was one of several Torcise had hired to work on his farm.

“People like Torcise prey on the vulnerable,” Priovolos told the Herald. “This time, he got more than he bargained for. My client was not too weak. He is strong, and I am proud to represent him.

“We will not stop until Torcise and anyone who was aware of his despicable conduct is brought to justice. We believe that there may be other victims, and if so, they must know that they are not alone.”

Miami-Dade Police ask anyone Torcise may have abused to call the department’s Special Victims Bureau.

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

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3 thoughts on “Police: Florida Youth Leader, Businessman Abused Teen From His Church”

  1. The last few days that I’ve read these emails they have been about abuses in the church. And while they must be recognized and dealt with swiftly, the first story I read was about the man who made carrot cake. I believe his name is Mike. I really enjoyed that story, I would like to read more of stories along those lines. Thank you.

  2. These articles may put a spotlight on the actions of darkness. The other thought is (and there may be evidence that has been withheld) the presumption of innocence in our justice system and Biblical balance. Careful consideration is prudent.

    “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light…. See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” Ephesians 5:11-13, 15-17).

    This is a biblical balance to filter these stories. Shine a light on darkness. All darkness. Exposure it the spiritual antibiotic to infection in the church. Walk circumspectly. Ideas is to walk around all the facts. Do not rush to judgement. That is unwise. The days are evil. Balance is difficult when trying to find what the Lord’s will is. My mind jumps to Rittenhouse case. Judgement was on display to the power of 10. Want to see these stories develop before the time to judge.

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