UPDATE: A Quad City baseball coach accused of molesting an 8-year old girl is expected to be released on bond Thursday, after his $200,000 bond was cut in half.
34-year old Anthony Molina pleaded not to guilty to seven felony charges of child sex abuse at a hearing in Rock Island Thursday.
Moline Police detective Marcy O’Brien was ready to testify at the preliminary hearing about what evidence lead to the charges and his arrest, but defense attorney Steve Hanna, instead waived it, in return for a lower bond.
”They (the state) agreed to reduce the bond down to $100,000 if we waived. We went ahead and waived it , so we can get the bond down and get him out of jail”, Hanna said.
Hanna again said Molina claims the molestation accusations are false. ”He’s disappointed. He says these are fabricated and this deals with an ex-girlfriend and other things I can’t comment about”, Hanna said.
Judge Jeffrey O’Connor entered a no contact order and order of protection to keep Molina away from the little girl and her mother.
It is the fifth order of protection on file in Rock Island County against Molina in the past five years, filed by at least three other women.
Molina was expected to post ten percent of the lowered bond, and get out of jail Thursday night.
Molina has also been suspended as coach of the Quad City Cannons youth baseball team.
The Cannons Board of Directors held a special meeting on Friday, May 25 and sent an email to parents announcing its decision , which read in part, ”the Board unanimously, immediately, and indefinitely suspended Mr. Molina from all duties and roles associated with the Quad City Cannons. In addition, Mr. Molina has been barred from attending any and all Quad City Cannons functions, uncluding but not limited to practices, games, fundraisers and celebrations.”
The former Moline High School baseball standout was famously beaned in the eye during a college practice game in 1999, dashing his hopes of turning pro.
Former Quad City baseball standout Anthony Molina’s hearing was delayed Tuesday by a motion by the prosecution, but his attorney hinted at what his defense may be on charges he allegedly molested an 8-year-old girl.
“It’s a former girlfriend’s child and we think that’s part of the problem. I won’t comment any further about that”, said Molina’s attorney, Steve Hanna. ”That’s the issue. I’ve talked to him, and he denies all the allegations.”
Molina was a baseball star at Moline High School in the 1990′s. He was famously beaned in the eye during a college game when he played for the University of Evansville, dashing his hopes of going pro.
Hanna says his client’s local notoriety makes it tougher to keep the court of public opinion under control.
“It’s a lot harder to try something before the public, because the public always assumes the worst. He should be presumed innocent, keep this in mind,” Hanna said.
Molina is charged with seven counts involving the molestation of the girl, including five counts of predatory criminal assault of a child. Those charges alone are Class X felonies which carry possible prison sentences of up to 30 years each.
The 34-year old’s preliminary hearing will be re-scheduled after the prosecution filed a motion to remove Judge Walter Braud from the case.
”The States Attorney’s office has the right to substitute one judge, and they’ve substituted Judge Braud”, said Hanna.
A Moline detective who investigated the case is expected to testify at his preliminary hearing.
Molina is still in the Rock Island County jail on $200,000 bond. His status as a coach in a 14 and under youth baseball league, still up in the air.
”We’re just looking at his life, trying to get his life back. We don’t know about (the status) of coaching. I don’t think his life is ever going to be the same”, said Hanna.