FRESNO COUNTY (KFSN) --A former boys and girls club director convicted of trying to lure a teenage boy to commit sexual acts learned his sentence Monday.
Victims in the small farming community of Firebaugh may get some closure. The former Boys and Girls Club director there was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison. In court 28-year-old Juan Torres showed no emotion as the judge handed down his punishment.
"When you're the head of an organization that deals with teenage children, some of whom are at risk, then you have a very serious situation that can occur if someone wants to commit these crimes," said Michael Tierney, Asst. U.S. Attorney.
Tierney said Torres used his position of authority at the Firebaugh Boys and Girls Club to develop relationships with teenage boys. Court documents show Torres messaged a 13-year-old boy on Facebook, offering to reduce his community service hours if he committed a sexual act with him. The boy reported the messages to police.
In court a federal judge called his acts predatory-- something even Torres himself acknowledges.
"When he was interviewed by law enforcement they asked him whether he thought what he did amounted to being a predator, and he believed that it did-- so that comes right from his own mouth," said Tierney.
Torres' time in a criminal court doesn't end here. He also plead guilty to having a sex with a minor-- another teen he oversaw at Firebaugh Boys and Girls Club. Those charges are expected to send him to prison for at least three years.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Fresno County President Kenneth Quenzer told Action News in a statement, the Firebaugh center has a new director and is now doing well.
Quenzer added, "We don't tolerate any questionable behavior in our clubs. We have so many kids whose lives are at stake."
"Certainly a difficult thing for the victims to go through, and they testified at trial which was a very difficult experience for them-- but hopefully, this will give them some closure," said Tierney.
Now that Torres has been sentenced in Federal court he'll move on to state court for sentencing there.
Torres will serve his time in state custody before he serves 12 years in federal custody.