Former Major League pitcher John Wetteland has been charged with child abuse

John Wetteland, who waved to fans in 2012 prior to a Texas Rangers game, was charged with child abuse.


John Wetteland, who waved to fans in 2012 prior to a Texas Rangers game, was charged with child abuse.

John Wetteland, a former Major League All-Star and World Series MVP, was indicted in Texas for continued sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14.

The 52-year-old Wetteland was arrested on Monday (Tuesday, NZZ time) and released on US prison records at Denton County Prison with a $ 25,000 ($ 36,600) bond. Wetteland lives in the suburb of the Trophy Club in Dallas.

Bartonville Police Chief Bobby Dowell said the Texas Department of Family and Protection Services contacted his office last week. Following an investigation, a warrant was issued against Wetteland, which was detained by members of the Denton County Sheriff.

Dowell said that because of the nature of the crime and the stage of investigation, he has no further details to publish. DFPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales said the details of the agency's cases are confidential.

According to a consolidated complaint and affidavit, Wetteland is accused of involving a child in a sex act, starting in 2004, when the child was four years old. The prosecutor said it happened twice during two years.

The Associated Press was unable to contact either Wetteland or his lawyer to comment.

Wetteland was the most valuable player in the 1996 World Series when he helped the New York Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves. He has posted four saves in this series, which is still a major league record.

He was also inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.

Wetteland, a three-time All-Star, is in 15th place on the all-time list with 330 savings. He had a 48-45 record with 2.93 ERA in a 12-season career, including stints at the Los Angeles Dodgers and Montreal Expos.

He was hired as a Washington National Bullpen coach in 2006, but was fired halfway through the season after then-manager Frank Robinson said he had asked Wetteland several times to get the team's helpers to focus more on the subject and to reduce their practical jokes.

In 2009, when Wetteland was on the Seattle Mariners coaching staff, the authorities responded to a 911 call from his Texas home. The media reported that the authorities in Denton County described the call as a mental health problem and said Wetteland was considering suicide. Wetteland said in a statement that "the circumstances that led to my high blood pressure and my heart rate, have been addressed."

The Texas Rangers said in a statement that they have "been alerted to this situation and are not making any further comments." Wetteland currently plays no role in the organization.