Former New York Yankees outfielder Chad Curtis has been found guilty of the sexual assault of three teenage girls by a Michigan jury.
The Barry County jury deliberated about 2-1/2 hours before convicting the ex-big league ballplayer after a week-long trial.
According to Michigan Live, “Curtis was a weight room training and substitute teacher at Lakewood Schools and performed massages on students for purposes of muscle rehabilitation. However, two 15-year-old students accused him of inappropriately touching their buttocks and a 16-year-old said he touched her private areas and fondled and kissed her breasts.”
Curtis, 44, was convicted of six counts of criminal sexual conduct and faces up to 15 years in prison when he is due back in court on September 26 for the sentencing phase. His lawyer reportedly plans to appeal.
Curtis, a 10-year MLB vet, won two World Series rings with the New York Yankees (1998, 1999) and is remembered for hitting two home runs in Game three of the 1999 Fall Classic, one of which was a walkoff against the Atlanta Braves. Curtis broke in to the big leagues with the-then California Angels and also played for the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, and Texas Rangers. He finished his MLB career with a batting average of.264, 101 home runs, 461 RBI, and 212 stolen bases.
Barry County prosecutor Julie Nakfoor-Pratt credited the victims for the Curtis conviction: “We give these young ladies so much credit for their courage. It took a lot of courage to testify. This has been such a long road for them. This is a step in the healing process for them.”
NBC Sports claims that Curtis “was also know to have alienated multiple teammates over the course of his career, in part because his deeply religious beliefs led him to call out their off-field conduct. It has been reported that this is what led him to be traded away from the Yankees following the 1999 season, as he took issue with Derek Jeter’s dating habits.”