BC-US-BBO--John Wetteland-Arrest,1st Ld-Writethru, US
DENTON, Texas (AP) — John Wetteland is stunned by and innocent of charges accusing him of child sex abuse, said an attorney for the former All-Star and World Series MVP pitcher.
Attorney Derek Adame commented Monday after Wetteland attended an arraignment hearing in Denton County, Texas. Wetteland and his wife didn’t speak to reporters.
The Texas Rangers Hall of Famer is staying strong in the face of the charges accusing him of abusing a child for two years starting in 2004 when the alleged victim was 4 years old, Adame said.
“Think about someone you think the world of, who you trust,” he added. “That’s John Wetteland, for a lot of people.”
Bartonville police charged the 52-year-old in January with continuous sex abuse of a child, and a Texas grand jury indicted him in March on three counts of the same charge.
“What they’ve accused him of, the only thing worse is murder,” said Adame. “He was completely shocked.”
Wetteland is scheduled to return to court in July. Adame noted he’ll plead not guilty.
“He is innocent and is looking forward to his day in court,” he said.
Wetteland was a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos and New York Yankees, where he was crowned the 1996 World Series MVP. Wetteland subsequently joined the Texas Rangers in 1997. He retired after the 2000 season but stuck around to coach for a few years before joining the Washington Nationals.
Officials with the Texas Rangers said that they are no longer associated with Wetteland.