Enrique Soto, one of the most prominent trainers in Latin America, was arrested in the Dominican Republic yesterday and charged with sexually molesting two of his players, according to the Associated Press and other Dominican media outlets.
According to Dominican news reports, Soto voluntarily turned himself in to Dominican authorities. Several of Soto's players and their parents reportedly showed up to the courthouse to defend Soto against the allegations.
Soto, who is based in Bani, has trained big leaguers Miguel Tejada, Willy Aybar and Erick Aybar. In more recent years, he trained Mariners shortstop Jharmidy DeJesus and Dodgers third baseman Pedro Baez. Last year he trained shortstop Esteilon Peguero, whose $2.9 million bonus with Seattle was the No. 1 bonus for an international amateur signing last year before it was reduced to $1.1 million for undisclosed reasons.
Update: According to the AP, prosecutor Francis Valdez said the alleged incidents took place in 2003 involving two brothers, age 16 and 17 at the time, over a period of six months.
Update: Soto's lawyer, Norberto Rondon, told the AP that Soto is being blackmailed by someone who wants money from Soto. Rondon added that the lawyers of the alleged victims are also the lawyers carrying out a motion against Peguero's mother because his father wants money from the signing bonus.
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