Denton County

Child Sex Abuse Charges Against John Wetteland Dismissed, No Retrial

Trial in September 2022 ended in a mistrial, charges against former MLB pitcher are now dismissed

Brian Elledge, The Dallas Morning News

Former Texas Rangers pitcher John Wetteland will not face a second trial on accusations of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

According to court records obtained by NBC 5, on March 23 the state decided against trying Wetteland again and the charges were dismissed by Denton County District Court Judge LeeAnne Breading.

Wetteland had been accused in 2019 of molesting a child three times from 2004 to 2006, beginning when the child was 4 years old. The former World Series MVP pitcher said he was innocent of the charge and his attorney Derek Adame said the accusations were "based on a lie."

A Denton County trial ended in a mistrial in September 2022 with the jury hopelessly deadlocked 10-2 -- it's not clear if the majority of the jury favored acquittal or conviction.

Following the mistrial, the Denton County District Attorney's Office said they planned to move forward with the case and that "whether it ends through negotiated plea bargain or retrial is up to him." The Denton County District Attorney has not issued a statement since the charges were dismissed.

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.

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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.

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