Ex-Yankee Rosendo "Rusty" Torres made incriminating statements to police that led to felony charges of child molestation, court documents and police said.
The former major leaguer and current youth baseball coach employed full time by the Town of Oyster Bay said he was sorry for incidents and stopped himself before further damage was done to his victim, court documents show.
was charged Tuesday in connection with two separate incidents of sex abuse involving an 8-year old girl that occurred in Plainview. He plead not guilty on Wednesday to four felony counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Bail was set at $50,000.
He is charged with abusing the child on two different occasions, once on April 30 and again on May 7, police said.
The North Massapequa man is employed by the as a youth league baseball coach. He has been in the job since May, 2000 and is employed full time, said Phyllis Barry, a spokeswoman for the town's government.
During that time, Torres conducted clinics and provided instruction on the fundamentals of baseball, Barry said. Police said he used a town-owned van to travel to the clinics. His annual salary is $83,372.
The position of youth coach is the only one of its kind in the Town of Oyster Bay, Barry said.
Newsday reported that, when confronted by police before Monday's practice, Torres said he would "never intentionally" hurt a child..."I had no bad intentions. It just happened. As soon as I realized what was happening I stopped it on my own. I have learned my lesson, and I would never do anything like that again."
"I don't want to work with children anymore," he told police, according to Newsday. "It's too risky."
The town issued a statement Tuesday night saying Torres, who played with the Yankees for part of two seasons in the 1970s, was suspended from his town job without pay, effectively immediately and his clinics would be cancelled until further notice.
The town statement, attributed to , said the town would cooperate with authorities. Barry said no further statement would be issued today on the matter.
While police said the incident took place in Plainview, they did not indicate where the alleged victim was from.
Police said there is no reason to believe more children were harmed at this time. They said no other adults were present during the incident.
"Because of his extensive exposure to children, I believe it is important to make people aware of this incident and I encourage anyone who believes their child has had inappropriate contact with Mr. Torres to contact the Special Victims Squad," said Nassau Detective Sgt. Robert J. Matedero.
"We did conduct an investigation and that investigation was not based merely on an allegation, but we collect evidence and we build a case and once we've determined we've met a legal standard, that's when we take action and make an arrest," Matedero said.
Torres works as a baseball and physical fitness trainer with children at many public and private organizations on Long Island, police said.
Torres for students at in Plainview last November, along with other community members representing numerous professions. He was photographed at the time in a Yankees' jersey and a vintage Yankee cap from the era he played in. He was holding a picture of himself in his playing days.