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NY judge tells ex-Yankee his sex abuse trial will start soon

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A Long Island judge slammed former New York Yankees player Rosendo “Rusty” Torres on Monday, telling the ex-major leaguer his trial – for allegedly sexually abusing an 8-year-old girl – will begin soon.

“I’m telling you now, this case is ready for trial,” Supervising Nassau County Court Judge Christopher Quinn told the 65-year-old Massapequa man. “This is your last adjournment.” Torres, who has pleaded not guilty, is accused of inappropriately rubbing up against an 8-year-old girl and then allegedly exposing himself to her and encouraging the young girl to touch him, law enforcement officials have said. The incidents are alleged to have occurred on two separate occasions in Plainview while Torres was working as a youth baseball coach for the Town of Oyster Bay.

His attorney, Troy Smith, said Torres “maintains his innocence” and said the court process has taken “an incredible emotional toll” on his client. Torres’ case – which follows his May 2012 arrest – has been delayed several times after he hired four separate attorneys. Smith, his latest attorney, said he was retained a little more than a week ago and officially put in notice with the court Monday that he would serve as Torres’ newest defense lawyer. Torres wouldn’t say why he discharged his previous lawyer and dismissed questions about whether he was trying to stall the case by hiring new lawyers.

Smith said he is set to begin a murder trial in the Bronx next week, but the judge cautioned him to be prepared to begin Torres’ case about a week after he finishes his Bronx trial. The judge also warned the defense lawyer that he had no qualms about calling the judge presiding in the Bronx trial everyday to check the status of the Smith’s trial. “We will go to battle if we have to, to get you here,” the judge said. “Unless this case is disposed of, this case is going to trial.”

Assistant District Attorney D.J. Rosenbaum, who works in the district attorney’s special victims bureau, told the judge prosecutors were ready to proceed with the trial. She said they would need to bring in at least one witness from “out of the country.” The district attorney’s office would not comment Monday on the judge’s comments to Torres.

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