DCF caseworker charged with battery, indecent exposure

A former Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) caseworker will be facing a judge, accused of battery and indecent exposure on a woman he was investigating.

DCF caseworker James Oviedo is charged with battery and indecent exposure.

Elianys Torres says James Oviedo asked to meet her in this public parking lot to talk about her case. According to investigators, when he got into her car she says,

"It was very violating, scary," she explains. "Everything just turned chaotic. It was scary. He just began to try and grab my head to forcefully kiss him. He put his hands down my pants." 

According to this charging affidavit, Oviedo forced Torres to touch him. 

"He did expose himself, tried to put my hand on his private part. Very scary, very, very scary."

Torres says she wanted him to leave, but he wouldn’t.

"At one point, he was like if you give me a kiss I’ll leave your car. If you give me a kiss I’ll drop the case with your daughter."  

She said did what she had to do, for fear of losing her child. 

"I’m in shock, so I had to kiss him so that he would get out of my car."

According to the charging affidavit, Oviedo showed up at Torres’s home later on around midnight. Her neighbor told him to leave.

"It didn’t make any sense to me. So at that point I thought I’m in danger, my kids are in danger, so I need to do something."

That’s when she called St. Cloud Police and hired attorney Mark Longwell.

"This seems to be a predator, someone who was using his position of trust to prey on a single mom who’s in a vulnerable position."

Longwell says DCF had a different team investigate the Torres case involving her child and says they dropped that case. 

As for this case involving Oviedo, Torres says, "I’m afraid for moms that might have been in the same situation, who may have lost their kids."

DCF released a statement, which reads, "DCF takes allegations of this nature very seriously. James Oviedo is no longer employed by DCF."  

The agency is cooperating with law enforcement. 

"I just want women to come forth if it did happen. I am afraid for other people that might have been in the same situation with this guy," Torres adds.

In the report, Oviedo told police it was consensual, but said his behavior was unprofessional. He denies saying anything about dropping the case for a kiss.

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