Youth coach pleads not guilty to child enticement charges
JAMAICA PLAIN, Mass. (WHDH) -- A youth baseball coach pleaded not guilty to child enticement charges Monday after he was accused of "grooming" a boy for sex.
Jose Ortega, 41, listened to the charges brought against him from behind a courtroom door in West Roxbury Municipal Court on Monday. He has been charged with multiple counts of child enticement.
Prosecutors say Ortega, the owner of a popular youth baseball team called the Boston Broncos, is accused of trying to lure a 12-year-old boy on the team to come back to his basement apartment on Washington Street in Roslindale.
“He also invited the victim over to his house to shower -- did that on two different occasions,” said Laura Montgomery, prosecutor. "The victim also reported the defendant asked him to send nude pictures of himself, specifically pictures of his private parts to the defendant...Asked the victim to go with him to the van to show him his private parts."
Ortega’s neighbors find the allegations hard to believe.
“I’m shocked, I couldn’t believe it,” said Sonya Hernandez, Ortega’s neighbor. “For me, he was a wonderful person, wonderful person. I don’t have nothing bad to say about him.”
"To me, he seemed to be like a role model," a player's parent said.
Prosecutors told the judge the case against the coach has only just begun, and investigators think, in their words, there might be many other victims.
“He insists that the facts in this case are not as you heard today. He looks forward to defending it,” said Bill Lane, defense attorney.
Ortega is being held on $50,000 cash bail. He is due back in court next month.