John Wetteland, the ex-World Series MVP for the New York Yankees, is maintaining his innocence amid charges that he sexually abused a family member beginning when the boy was just 4 years old.

Wetteland was arrested in January and indicted by a grand jury in March. He’s facing three charges of continuous sexual assault of a child under the age of 14. Wetteland made his first court appearance this week.

His attorney says Wetteland was “shocked” by the charges and said point blank, “He is innocent.”

Wetteland is accused of molesting a family member on three different occasions starting in 2004. The other alleged incidents happened in the following two years. The alleged victim came forward 15 years later. According to attorney Derek Adame, Wetteland plans to plead not guilty to charges against him, which could lead to 25 years in prison if he’s convicted.

Neither Wetteland nor his wife talked to the media following his court appearance, but Adame, his attorney, maintained that Wetteland was both trustworthy and innocent of the charges against him.

“Think about someone you think the world of, who you trust,” Adame said. “That’s John Wetteland, for a lot of people.”

“What they’ve accused him of, the only thing worse is murder,” said Adame. “He was completely shocked. He is innocent and is looking forward to his day in court.”

Wetteland is due back in court in July.

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