Ricardo Moreno, a Hollywood, Florida golf instructor, turned himself into police on Tuesday after he was accused of molesting two minors, news sources report. Moreno was originally accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy; however, a 15-year-old boy has now reportedly come forward also claiming that Moreno abused him. Police say there may be more victims. Moreno, 52, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim between the ages of 12 and 16. He was later released from jail on an unspecified bail bond. So far, no attorney has been reported for Moreno.
According to sources, Moreno is a founder of RSM Golf, an organization that teaches golf to children and teens in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Moreno also gives golf lessons at Country Club and Hillcrest Golf. So far, RSM Golf had remained mum regarding the allegations against Moreno. Country Club and Hillcrest Golf have also declined to comment; however, Hillcrest acknowledged that Moreno works as a contractor at the club and is cooperating with a police investigation.
One of Moreno’s 13-year-old students came forward with allegations of sexual abuse this past week, sources indicate. The victim said Moreno “would always stretch him out prior to the golf lessons to avoid injury.” However, the victim claims Moreno would touch his genitals, which made the victim feel uncomfortable. “The victim advised that he thought it was weird and he was very uncomfortable about [Moreno touching his genital area],” a police report says.
Detectives interviewed Moreno on Saturday, during which time Moreno said he employs a “technique of stretching the victim out and relieving tension,” which includes touching the student in his genital area. When asked, Moreno said he did not have any medical training, though he does have extensive training as a sports instructor. Many sports instructors, even without medical training, aid their students with stretching.
Since the allegations surfaced, another of Moreno’s students, a 15-year-old boy, has come forward and said Moreno abused him too. The details of that case are not currently public. Detectives are currently working to identify any more victims. “Hopefully this is it,” a police spokesperson said. “But if someone sees this and is a victim or knows someone that is, we are asking them to come forward.” Additional charges may be pending, though thus far the two boys are the only potential victims.
Robert Lechter, whose own child is a student of Moreno’s, commented on the allegations, saying, “To me it sounds like a misunderstanding, [Moreno] has an excellent reputation, he’s a family man, a completely reliable person, just a great guy.”
According to RSM Golf’s website, Moreno was “Born and raised in Colombia [and is] an avid student in the game and a true entrepreneur. [Moreno] has extensive experience managing junior golf programs in both Colombia and the United States.” The website says that the program teaches students nine core golf values, including confidence, honesty, courtesy, and good sportsmanship. The program offers minors both after school programs and summer programs.