A Clinton man has been charged following another local investigation into alleged sex offenses.
Robert Torres, 23, of 166 Old Mill Branch Lane, Clinton, was charged with statutory rape/sex offense with a child and indecent liberties with a child.
“It was a (Department of Social Services) referral and was alleged against a non-family member. Investigators investigated it and found sufficient evidence to charge the suspect,” said Sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith, who noted that the victim was 15 years old at the time.
Torres was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond.
Torres is the ninth person in the past month and a half to be arrested in connection with a sexual abuse case investigated by local authorities, with those investigations coordinated primarily by the Sampson County Child Advocacy Center (CAC), a branch of DSS.
With Torres’ arrest, nine men have been charged in nine separate cases since the end of August, with alleged offenses including statutory rape, incest, first degree forcible rape, sexual offense, indecent liberties and crimes against nature.
CAC director Shannon Blanchard noted last month that a multidisciplinary team (MDT) consisting of members of several disciplines work together on the cases, including law enforcement, Social Services, prosecution, medical providers, Guardian ad Litem, mental health professionals and school officials.
The MDT uses its resources to review all cases and provide assistance, advocacy and protection to victims, with the CAC playing a key role in that effort.
“The team meets monthly to review the work completed by each party involved in the case,” Blanchard pointed out.
That collaboration helps to ensure suspects “are held accountable and, most importantly, that a victim receives the services needed to overcome such a traumatic event,” she stated.
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