A Nassau County judge Monday declared he was ready to "go to battle" to ensure the trial of an ex-Yankees outfielder accused of molesting an 8-year-old girl begins soon.
"I'm telling you now. This case is ready for trial," Christopher Quinn, the supervising judge of the County Court, told Rosendo "Rusty" Torres, 65, of Massapequa. "This case is not going to be stopped because of your health . . . This is going to be your last adjournment."
Torres, a journeyman who also played with the Indians, Angels, White Sox and Royals, pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual abuse in 2012. Authorities alleged that on two occasions in Plainview, Torres pressed up against the victim and exposed himself to her and encouraged her to touch him.
Torres' trial has been delayed several times as he has hired four different lawyers -- dismissing three of them -- and recently underwent spinal fusion surgery, the judge and his lawyer said.
Torres, who was suspended from his job as a baseball coach for the Town of Oyster Bay after his arrest, told Newsday outside the courtroom: "I'm definitely innocent." He did not comment further.
His latest attorney, Troy Smith, of White Plains, whom he retained about a week ago, told the judge he's scheduled to begin a murder trial in the Bronx next week.
The judge told Smith he should be prepared to try Torres' case about a week after the close of the Bronx murder trial and said he would call judges in the Bronx to ensure none of his other cases would delay Torres' trial.
"We will go to battle if we have to, to get you here," the judge told Smith. " . . . I will be keeping on top of it."
Assistant District Attorney D.J. Rosenbaum told the judge the prosecution was ready to proceed and would bring a witness from "outside the country" to testify.
Smith said outside the courtroom that Torres is "looking forward" to the trial. "It's been an incredibly emotional burden on him," Smith said.