Former World Series MVP and Texas Rangers closer John Wetteland arrested in Texas on suspicion of repeated sexual abuse of somebody under the age of 14, a charge that carries a potential life sentence if convicted.
The Bartonville Police Department said in a statement it received a referral from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and sought a warrant for Wetteland’s arrest after an initial investigation. Wetteland, 52, was taken into custody by authorities in Denton County on Monday and later released after he posted $25,000 bond, according to online jail records.
According to a consolidated complaint and probable cause affidavit, Wetteland is accused of having a child perform a sex act on him, beginning in 2004 when the child was 4. The accuser said it happened twice more during a two-year period.
Bartonville police said no further details in the case would be released “due to the nature of the alleged offense and stage of the investigation.”
The charge Wetteland faces is a first-degree felony that carries a maximum lifetime sentence and a minimum of 25 years in prison.
Wetteland spent most of his 12-year major league career (1989-00) primarily as a closer. He won a World Series championship with the New York Yankees in 1996 and was named the MVP.
He spent his final four seasons (1997-00) with the Rangers and became the franchise’s all-time saves leader with 150. In 2005, the Rangers inducted him into its Hall of Fame.
“The Texas Rangers have been made aware of this situation and have no further comment,“ the club said in a statement.
Wetteland, who has no role with the Rangers organization, retired with 330 saves and a 2.93 ERA, also playing for the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Messages left with the Denton County District Attorney’s Office by USA TODAY Sports were not immediately returned Tuesday.
The Dallas Morning News was the first outlet to report the arrest.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.