Daytona Scout Leader Arrested on Molestation Charges


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A 48-year-old man from Daytona Beach was arrested on Thursday on accusations that he'd molested a teenage girl. Vidal Torres Jr. is said to know the victim through her participation in a local Boy Scout troop, where Torres is an assistant scoutmaster.

According to police, the 14-year-old girl who accused Torres told her family what happened in November. The Volusia Sheriff's Office's Child Exploitation Unit investigated the case, and were able to confidently confirm her story soon thereafter. Five charges were issued against Torres: four counts of lewd/lascivious molestation against a victim ages 12-16, and one count of unlawful usage of a two-way communication device.

Upon arriving at Torres' workplace to make an arrest, VSO detectives were told he'd been gone for at least one week due to a family emergency. He returned to Daytona Beach this week, and was then taken into custody without incident.

Detectives say Torres confessed to his crimes when they questioned him, and that the incidents had not taken place at sanctioned Boy Scout events. As of Friday afternoon, Torres is still being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail without bond.

According to the activism group Abused in Scouting, molestation accounts for 6.0% of all reported sexual abuse cases in the Boy Scouts. The greatest number of instances are said to happen at a camp site, with overall cases having peaked between 1968 and 1974. Victims in the 12-14 age group account for just over half of reported cases.

Anyone who may potentially have information about child sexual abuse is asked to contact the Volusia Sheriff's Office's Child Exploitation Unit at (386) 323-3574.