He spent four years as a New York Yankee, now he's doing 45 years for raping a child.
A Texas jury sentenced Mel Hall, 48, to more than four decades in prison after he was convicted in the rape of a 12-year-old girl, a member of a basketball team he coached.
The jury deliberated for only an hour on the sentencing, and 90 minutes to convict him. Hall won't be eligible for parole for 22 1/2 years, according to the Associated Press.
“We believe that the verdict does on some level show that the jury understood,” said prosecutor Kim D’Avignon. “They looked in these girls’ eyes and said this is worth 40 years, and we agree with them.”
His defense attorney, however, believed the verdict was harsh. “For all the good this man has done in his life, it seems like this was an excessive verdict,” stated defense attorney Brady Wyatt.
During the trial this week, witnesses testified Hall was impressed with the 12-year-old girl’s talent and wanted to start a basketball team. The woman testified that Hall exposed himself to her and her younger brother at home, when their parents were away.
His interaction with the girl progressed to inappropriate touching and him showing her how to perform oral sex, she testified. She said he also showed her pornographic movies at an apartment Hall shared with his girlfriend and their infant son.
“I trusted him,” the woman testified. “I honestly had no idea anything was inappropriate at the time. I looked up to him. I just thought this is how normal people act.”
Hall’s 13-year major league career ended in 1996. He hit .276 with 134 home runs and 620 RBIs in a career that included stints with the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Yankees and San Francisco Giants. He also played four years in Japan.