Texas Rangers

Denton County DA Moving Forward With John Wetteland, Child Sexual Abuse Case

First trial ended in a mistrial with a deadlocked jury on Sept. 2, 2022

Brian Elledge, The Dallas Morning News

Former Texas Rangers pitcher John Wetteland could once again face a jury in Denton County after his first trial on a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child ended in a mistrial.

The Denton County District Attorney's Office said Tuesday they are moving forward with the case and that "whether it ends through negotiated plea bargain or retrial is up to him."

Wetteland was on trial last week but jurors were hopelessly deadlocked 10-2, resulting in the mistrial. It wasn't immediately clear if the majority of the jury favored acquittal or conviction.

Should the case go back before a jury, it's not yet clear when the trial would be held.


Wetteland's first trial, which began with jury selection on Aug. 29 in Denton County, ended in a mistrial on Sept. 2 with the jury unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

Wetteland, who now lives in Trophy Club, was accused of molesting a 4-year-old from 2004 to 2006. The former World Series MVP pitcher said he was innocent of the charge.

Wetteland’s lawyer, Derek Adame, told our partners at The Dallas Morning News before the first trial began that the accusations against him are “based on a lie,” which he said “will be evident very quickly” in the trial.

“John’s position is this is a false allegation, and we feel we’ll be able to show that,” Adame said.

In a probable cause affidavit filed on Jan. 15, 2019, the victim alleged that between the ages of 4 and 6, from October 2004 to October 2006, three separate assaults took place in Denton County. NBC 5 has a policy of protecting the identities of sexual assault victims, so the affidavit and further details about the allegations are not included in this article.

Wetteland played 12 seasons in the majors for the Rangers, Yankees, Expos and Dodgers before retiring in 2000. After winning a World Series in New York in 1996, where he was named the series MVP, he landed in Arlington where he spent the final four years of his career setting a team record of 150 saves.

His final game was on Sept. 20, 2000; at age 33, after his Rangers contract expired during the offseason, he retired from baseball. Wetteland was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 2005.

According to a biography published by the Seattle Mariners, Wetteland spent three seasons as a roving pitching coordinator for the Texas Rangers beginning in 2002. In 2006 he worked as a bullpen coach for the Washington Nationals before heading to Seattle for two seasons in 2009 and 2010.

Wetteland was hospitalized in 2009 after reportedly considering suicide, though he later said his hospitalization was due to his elevated blood pressure and heart rate and that it had been addressed.

In between MLB coaching gigs, Wetteland, a longtime born-again Christian, coached baseball and taught Bible studies at Liberty Christian School, in Argyle, from 2007 to 2008, according to a report in The Dallas Morning News. A vice president of the school told the paper that Wetteland has had no association with the school since his departure.

Before joining the Rangers as a closer, Wetteland spent two seasons with the New York Yankees and three each with the Expos and Dodgers. The All-Star closed out his career with a record of 48-45, 330 saves, 804 strike-outs and a 2.93 ERA from 1989-2000.

Wetteland and his wife divorced in 2015. They have four children.

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