A former Yankees outfielder pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of sex abuse of an 8-year-old girl on Long Island.
Rosendo "Rusty" Torres, 63, was ordered held on $50,000 bail at his court appearance, where he was arraigned on four misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse.
His attorney, Scott Carrigan, said he did not know the specifics of the allegations but said Torres has been working with kids for 13 years and the accusations are "out of character" with his reputation.
Carrigan said Torres "professes his innocence and emphatically denies the charges."
Torres played for the Yankees in 1971 and 1972. He also played with the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, California Angels and Kansas City Royals.
Prosecutors say Torres worked for the Town of Oyster Bay as a baseball coach. They say an 8-year-old was sexually abused inside a town-issued van. The victim's parents reported the incident to police on Monday.
"I'm at a loss for words," said Janice Catalano, Torres' neighbor of 10 years. "And I think anybody in this neighborhood would say the same thing."
"He did programs in the town to keep kids on the right track," she said. "I just don't believe it."
Oyster Town Supervisor John Venditto said Torres has been suspended without pay from his coaching job. The remaining games he was scheduled to conduct have also been canceled.
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