Little Rock Catholic Diocese Reports Sexual Abuse by Former Priest
By Brandon Riddle
September 8, 2016
An earlier version of this article incorrectly described former priest Robert "Bob" Torres' withdrawal from the Catholic church. According to terminology used in the church, Torres was laicized, or removed from status as a member of the clergy.
A now laicized former Catholic priest sexually abused at least two victims decades ago while in his role, the Diocese of Little Rock said in a statement released this week.
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor, who issued a letter Sunday to members of the diocese, said the abuse occurred more than 35 years ago involving Robert "Bob" Torres and members of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Little Rock.
Information was not released regarding the victims' ages at the time, though one was described as a youth.
That letter was distributed Tuesday through the diocese's newspaper, Arkansas Catholic, detailing that an investigation began after the diocese was contacted by a concerned family member. A report was made to the Arkansas Department of Human Services, and the Diocesan Review Board met last month with the victim.
Taylor said in the letter that over the course of the investigation, the diocese found evidence of a second victim, immediately offering assistance to both victims and their families.
“Unfortunately, by Mr. Torres’s own admission and from the information we have been able to gather, it is evident that he likely sexually abused at least two or three other young people, whose names Mr. Torres no longer remembers and whom we have been unable to identify or locate," Taylor wrote.