Thursday, June 18, 2009
Former Major League Outfielder Mel Hall Convicted of Raping 12-year-old
Former major league outfielder Mel Hall was sentenced to 45 years in prison yesterday in Fort Worth, Texas, after being convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl and sexually abusing or inappropriately touching three girls.
Hall, 48, looked skyward and swayed back and forth as the verdict was read. One of his two daughters who testified on his behalf during the punishment phase sobbed as the reality of the sentence set in.
Jurors reached the verdict on the punishment after about an hour of deliberating. They took about 90 minutes Tuesday to convict Hall on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child. He must serve about 22 1/2 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.
After the verdict was announced, prosecutor Kim D'Avignon read a brief statement on behalf of the 12-year-old victim and other of Hall's accusers.
"We believe that the verdict does on some level show that the jury understood," D'Avignon said. "They looked in these girls' eyes and said this is worth 40 years and we agree with them."
The defense had argued in the sentencing phase of the trial that Hall was a good man who mentored a lot of athletes and had a lot of good still to do.