Former Yankee outfielder Chad Curtis was convicted of six counts of sexual assault in Barry County, Michigan on Friday. Curtis could face up to 15 years in prison for inappropriately touching three teenage girls.
The jury deliberated for less than three hours before finding Curtis guilty. Barry County Prosecutor Julie Nakfoor-Pratt credited the three girls for having the courage to come forward and testify against Curtis.
“We give these young ladies so much credit for their courage," Nakfoor-Pratt said in a report from MLive. "It took a lot of courage to testify."
All three victims were 15 or 16 at the time of the sexual assaults. Curtis was volunteering as a weight room trainer and substitute teach at Lakewood Schools near Lake Odessa when he assaulted two of the girls. He was accused of touching their buttocks in a sexual manner.
After these accusations surfaced, a third girl came forward and said that Curtis had fondled and kissed her breasts in August 2011. The last assault occurred in April 2012.
Curtis’ defense attorney, David Dodge, brought a massage therapist as a witness to say that it was not unusual to touch someone’s buttocks during a massage. Other witnesses for the defense described Curtis as a man of high morals.
According to Nakfoor-Pratt, the testimonies from the three girls left a strong impression on the jury.
Curtis began his professional career in 1992 with the Los Angeles Angels. He also played with the New York Yankees, the Detroit Tigers, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cleveland Indians. He finished his career in 2001 with the Texas Rangers.
He hit two home runs in Game 3 of the 1999 World Series with the Yankees. Curtis was going to be the head football coach at Lakewood in 2012, but resigned from that position after the allegations surfaced.
The maximum penalty for these charges is 15 years, and Curtis will be sentenced on September 26.
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