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Prospect Charged With Rape

January 25, 2002|From Associated Press

GONZALES, La. — Despite an array of legal problems, Greg "Toe" Nash was such a hot baseball prospect that local officials gave the high school dropout a second chance.

Those efforts may have gone for naught.

Nash, an outfielder in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' farm system, was in jail Wednesday after his arrest on a charge of raping a 15-year-old girl.

"The local community, the political people, the mayor all wanted to give this kid an opportunity," District Attorney Tony Falterman said. "From what I know about him, he had every opportunity to have a productive life in baseball."

Nash, 19, was arrested Tuesday on one count of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated crime against nature, a felony charge that covers a variety of sexual misconduct.

"My sympathy now goes to the victim and her family," Falterman said. "I certainly did not want anything like that to happen to someone."

In an unrelated case, Nash also was charged with one count of felony theft. He was jailed in lieu of $300,000 bond.

Benny Latino, the scout who found Nash for the Devil Rays, said he thought he could make a difference in Nash's life.

"Maybe I was naive, but to me he's innocent until proven guilty. I can't abandon him now," Latino said.

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