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Dykstra Cleared Of Charges

Lenny Dykstra was cleared Tuesday of charges that he sexually harassed a 17-year-old female employee at a car wash he owns.

The former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder faced misdemeanor charges of sexual battery and child annoyance after he was arrested Oct. 13 at the car wash in Simi Valley.

A motion brought by the Ventura County district attorney's office to dismiss charges was granted.

"While the district attorney believes that the defendant did engage in the conduct as originally described by the victim, the subsequent investigation revealed additional facts which leads to the conclusion that the charges alleged in the complaint cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury," the motion read in part.

Deputy District Attorney Ryan Wright, who prosecuted the case, said he wouldn't comment further because of the girl's age.

"While we are pleased that the district attorney has seen fit to drop the charges, we're disappointed they were filed in the first place," said Dykstra's attorney, Daniel Petrocelli. "The case had no merit from the outset. No incident of harassment occurred, let alone anything that could conceivably justify the filing of a criminal prosecution.

"Based on our investigation and the evidence we marshaled and turned over to the district attorney's office, it was confirmed that the young lady who brought these charges was not honest, and not credible. It's not uncommon for high-profile personalities, sports figures, to be a target for unmeritorious charges."

Following his arrest, Dykstra was taken to a sheriff's station and then released on $5,000 bail. Simi Valley police Sgt. Bob Gardner said at that time that the alleged incident occurred Oct. 1 at the car wash, where the teen-ager was employed.

"She was an employee of Mr. Dykstra's car wash, she came to his car wash facility at a time of day when she knew he was present, when she was not scheduled to work, she was supposed to be in school," Petrocelli said. "She sought him out and engaged him in conversation. The next thing Mr. Dykstra knew, she was alleging sexual harassment against him.

"He is extremely disappointed and dismayed that his name, reputation, as well as his business have been sullied by the filing of these false charges. But at the same time, he is relieved that whatever damage has been done can now stop and hopefully be rectified."

Petrocelli said he would review the former outfielder's legal problems but was certain Dykstra wanted to put the matter behind him "without any further damage to his name and reputation."

At the time of the arrest, Dykstra spokesman Allan Mayer said the teen-ager claimed Dykstra touched her outside her clothing.

Dykstra announced his retirement a year ago after he was unable to come back from a debilitating back injury.

Known as "Nails" for his hard-nosed style of play, Dykstra was a key component of the Mets' World Series championship team of 1986, and led the Phillies to the World Series in 1993.

He hit .285 in 12-plus seasons and led the National League in at-bats, runs, hits and walks in 1993.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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