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Young girl says ex-Yankee exposed himself at after-school program

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A young girl who claims former New York Yankees player Rosendo “Rusty” Torres sexually abused her testified Monday that she felt forced to inappropriately touch the ex-major leaguer after he took her into a van at an after-school baseball program.

The 11-year-old said Torres would “bump” his genitals against her while she was on the pull-up bars during the baseball lessons in April and May 2012. Torres, who was a youth coach for the Town of Oyster Bay, has pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse and sexual conduct against a child charges. Prosecutors allege he rubbed up against the girl – who was 8 years old at the time – before allegedly exposing himself and encouraging her to touch him.

The girl, whose name is being withheld from this story because she is the alleged victim of a sex crime, said Monday that Torres bumped her “a whole bunch of times," as she demonstrated the act for jurors by thrusting her hips. She said she initially did not report the “bumping” because she “wasn’t sure what he was doing was wrong,” but later told her mother that Torres had allegedly exposed himself to her in his van. She also described incidents where she allegedly bounced on his lap and where Torres allegedly had her touch him.

“I told him there was something in his pants or pocket making me uncomfortable,” the girl said as she fidgeted with stuffed animals on the witness stand. “He asked me if I wanted to see it. I shrugged my shoulders.” She said Torres then led her into his yellow van, which was filled with sports equipment, where he allegedly exposed himself and encouraged her to inappropriately touch him.

Torres’ defense lawyer, Troy A. Smith, said there was “a lot of inconsistencies” with the girl’s testimony. He said the girl had previously testified at the grand jury that she couldn’t remember where Torres exposed himself. On Monday, she said he made her touch him in his van with the doors closed, but previously told investigators the doors were open when it happened, Smith said.

“We’re pleased with the way the evidence is moving along,” the White Plains-based attorney said. “There were a lot of inconsistencies with her testimony today and there were a lot of inconsistencies with her testimony to the grand jury a couple of years ago.” Prosecutors declined to comment on the assertion the victim’s testimony was inconsistent.

When asked if she saw Torres, who was seated with his lawyer in court, the girl said no. She responded, “I don’t think I see him,” when pressed about it. Smith said he was surprised the girl couldn’t identify his client.

Torres declined to comment as he left the courthouse. The trial will continue Tuesday before Judge Tammy S. Robbins at the Nassau County Court. A second victim is expected to take the stand.