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Rusty Torres sexual abuse trial jurors traded votes to end deliberations, says defense

Former Yankee Rosendo

Former Yankee Rosendo "Rusty" Torres leaves a courtroom in Mineola on July 17, 2014. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Jurors in the trial of former Yankee outfielder Rosendo "Rusty" Torres agreed to a "trade agreement" to change votes to convict Torres of sexual abuse after being deadlocked, according to defense affidavits submitted Wednesday to a Nassau court.

Torres, 65, of Massapequa, a former youth baseball coach for Oyster Bay Town, was convicted July 31 of five counts of sexually abusing one girl in his Plainview baseball clinic in 2012. He was acquitted of one count involving the same girl and two counts involving a second girl. A day before the verdict, after deliberating for 3 1/2 hours, the jury had been deadlocked 6 to 6 on all counts, according to Torres' attorney Troy A. Smith.

Smith submitted the affidavits of two jurors to Nassau County Court Judge Tammy S. Robbins in a motion asking for the guilty verdicts to be set aside due to what he said was jury misconduct. Torres' sentencing was set for Tuesday, but was adjourned because of Smith's pending motion.

Some jurors who initially voted guilty on both victims "began to get very upset and express frustration" with the length of the trial in its third week, one juror's affidavit said. Those jurors "indicated" they would change their vote to not guilty regarding one victim if those who wanted to acquit changed their vote to guilty for another victim, court papers said.

"Largely based upon this compromise or 'trade agreement,' several of the jurors agreed to change their vote in order to put an end to the deliberations and the hostility in the room," one affidavit said.

The two jurors also failed to disclose that they or a family member had been crime victims when asked by the court and both attorneys during jury selection, but discussed the experiences in deliberations, court papers said.

One juror said in her affidavit that her mother was molested by her own father as a child. That same juror said she was also nearly kidnapped by a pedophile as a child and a second juror said she had been sexually assaulted on a train, the affidavits said.

Shams Tarek, a spokesman for District Attorney Kathleen Rice said: "We are reviewing the motion.

In court, Robbins gave Assistant District Attorney D.J. Rosenbaum until Oct. 17 to submit a response. The case is back in court Oct. 27.


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