Lakeland man accused of using stun gun as discipline deemed mentally incompetent

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A man accused of using a stun gun to discipline several children in his care is out of jail after a judge ruled he was not competent to stand trial.

Twenty-two-year-old William Torres-Morales, along with three others, is accused of using a stun gun on at least seven children as a form of discipline. Torres is also accused of sexual battery of a child.

A judge ruled that Torres is not competent to stand trial, and he was released into the care of a family member. Torres was also placed on GPS monitoring, and must stay away from children.

As for his co-defendants, two received prison sentences and the third still has a case pending.

Eduardo Vazquez pleaded guilty to nine counts of contributing to the delinquency of a child, seven counts of aggravated child abuse two counts of false information to a law enforcement officer and tampering with physical evidence on April 25 and received 20 years in prison, followed by 10 years of probation.

Elizabeth Tarvin pled to six counts of child neglect and one count of neglect of a child with great bodily harm on March 1 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by 10 years of probation.

Veronica Sanchez is still incarcerated and has not yet been sentenced.

Because Torres has not been convicted, his current address is not public record.

His former neighbors in West Lakeland who knew him said he lives close by and they aren’t happy about it.

“I think he needs to be locked up for life and not be out here because he’s going to hurt other children,” Amanda Jimenez said.

“We never expected to see him do something like that. We all grew up together and we thought he was a nice kid. So it came as a big shock, he was a nice kid. And now to hear that he’s out, no I don’t think it’s fair,” JulieMarie Rivera said.

State Attorney B. Haas released this statement to News Channel 8:

The Court found the defendant incompetent to proceed. Based on the opinions of the court appointed experts, commitment to the State Hospital was not an option. Given the nature of the charges in this case, the release of the defendant potentially poses a significant risk to the public. This case is not over. We are hopeful that the defendant’s competency will be restored, allowing the prosecution to proceed as it has for each of his co-defendants.”

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