One charge against a former downtown Gainesville business owner and convicted sex offender was dismissed Monday, July 15, while another moved on to Superior Court.
Endrick Joseph Torres, 39, of Bethlehem, appeared in Magistrate Court Monday regarding charges of first-degree forgery and violation of the Georgia sex offender law.
Torres was arrested by Gainesville Police Tuesday, June 18.
Sgt. Kevin Holbrook took the stand Monday as the sole witness for the hearing, testifying that the case started with a tip from the downtown business coalition.
According to the forgery warrant, Torres allegedly “did knowingly make a false writing by signing a business license in a false name of Endrick Ordonez.”
Torres was listed on the sex offender registries for New York, Georgia and Florida, and aliases listed include Endrick Torres Ordonez.
The judge expressed concern about the similar names and the forgery charge and chose to dismiss it, but the charge related to the sex offender law moved on to Superior Court.
Torres allegedly did “knowingly maintain a business located within 1,000 feet of a young learning facility or an area where minors congregate in violation of Georgia sex offender laws” and is required to register as a sex offender, according to the other warrant.
Chief Jay Parrish said the learning facility referenced in the warrant was Waldorf & Wonder.
Barrow County is also considering charges.
“We did not authorize Mr. Torres to open a business in Hall County. As a matter of fact, we understand that he gave false information to do so, and our office has taken warrants on him for violating that here,” Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith told The Times Monday, July 15.
According to a court report from Richmond County Supreme Court in New York, Torres pleaded guilty in September 2014 to sexual abuse in the first degree and was sentenced to a year in jail.
In the facts of that case, Torres was reportedly groping young girls while serving as a counselor at a children’s day camp.
“In August 2013, the defendant and children from the camp were on a bus trip when the defendant arranged for child one to sit with him in the back of the bus. He told her to open her legs and he touched her vagina above her clothes,” according to the New York court report.
The girl was 10 years old.
A second girl came forward after a story was published in a local newspaper, according to the report.