Former World Series MVP and Texas Rangers closer John Wetteland arrested in Texas on suspicion of repeated sexual abuse of somebody under the age of 14, a charge that carries a potential life sentence if convicted.
The Bartonville Police Department said in a statement it received a referral from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and sought a warrant for Wetteland’s arrest after an initial investigation. Wetteland, 52, was taken into custody by authorities in Denton County on Monday and later released after he posted $25,000 bond, according to online jail records.
Bartonville police said no further details in the case would be released “due to the nature of the alleged offense and stage of the investigation.”
The charge Wetteland faces is a first-degree felony that carries a maximum lifetime sentence and a minimum of 25 years in prison. The statute for which Wetteland was arrested covers “two or more acts of sexual abuse” over “a period that is 30 or more days.”
Wetteland spent most of his 12-year major league career (1989-00) primarily as a closer. He won a World Series championship with the New York Yankees in 1996 and was named the MVP.
He spent his final four seasons (1997-00) with the Rangers and became the franchise’s all-time saves leader with 150. In 2005, the Rangers inducted him into its Hall of Fame.
“The Texas Rangers have been made aware of this situation and have no further comment,“ the club said in a statement.
Wetteland, who has no role with the Rangers organization, retired with 330 saves and a 2.93 ERA, also playing for the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Messages left with the Denton County District Attorney’s Office by USA TODAY Sports were not immediately returned Tuesday.
The Dallas Morning News was the first outlet to report the arrest.