Former Yankees outfielder Rosando “Rusty” Torres pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse charges on Wednesday.
The 63-year-old former major leaguer was arrested Tuesday at his North Massapequa home.
Special Victims Squad detectives had investigated accusations that Torres sexually abused an 8-year-old girl on April 30, and then again on Tuesday.
The longtime youth baseball and fitness instructor was charged with four counts of first-degree sexual abuse.
His attorney, Scott Carrigan, told reporters that the allegations came as a shock.
The one-time Yankee was a baseball instructor on Long Island for more than a dozen years. He also worked as a coach for the Town of Oyster Bay and several private organizations.
Det. Sgt. Robert Matedero said the incident occurred while Torres was performing his duties as an instructor for the Town of Oyster Bay. He said Torres and the victim were alone at the time, but “there were several other children in a general area.”
The victim reported that alleged abuse to her parents, officials said.
At this point there’s no accusations that Torres abused anyone else, Matedero said, adding that the investigation is “by no means closed.”
“Because of his extensive exposure to children I believe that it’s 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, Matedero said.
Police are currently in the process of reaching out to schools and other organizations that Torres may have had ties to.
A spokesman for the Town of Oyster Bay said Torres was suspended without pay and any programs he was scheduled to conduct have been cancelled until further notice.
The Puerto Rico-native made his major league debut with the Yankees on Sept. 20, 1971. In Nov. 1972, he was included in a trade to the Cleveland Indians that brought Jerry Moses and Graig Nettles to the Bronx.
Torres also played for the California Angels, Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals.
He had a career batting average of .212.
Torres also spent some time as a guest instructor for Baseball Plus in Hicksville, where he taught children hitting, throwing and fielding, said a manager who didn’t want to give his name.
“He was good with the kids, I mean very good with the kids, the kids loved him,” he said.
Torres is reportedly a co-founder of Winning Beyond Winning, an organization that promotes physical fitness and educates children on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.