We’ve written our share of stories about coaches getting into improper sexual situations with some of their underage players. But the story of Melvin Hall Jr. is probably a little more stomach-churning than usual, as it involves a betrayal of trust - and the ongoing sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl.
Hall, a 48-year-old former Major League Baseball player, was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault of a child & two counts of indecency with a child. The actions took place during the late 1990s when Hall was a house guest of the then 12-year-old’s family.
Hall had met the girl’s family after his retirement from baseball in 1996, which included stints with the Cubs, Indians, Yankees, and Giants. Hall had told the family he was starting up a basketball team and wanted the young girl to play for him. In time, Hall and the girl’s family became close, with the family’s children considering Hall “like a second father”. Melvin even eventually moved in with the family in 1998 when he needed a place to stay.
And that when things started going horribly wrong. From the FORT WORTH STAR TELEGRAM:
Hall’s accuser, now 23, took the stand Monday, describing what she believed at the time was a boyfriendlike relationship with her coach. It began with Hall exposing himself to her and her younger brother, she said.
“I trusted him. I honestly had no idea anything was inappropriate at the time,” the woman testified. “I looked up to him. I just thought this is how normal people act.”
And Hall’s act soon became much worse:
His sister testified that Hall later began masturbating in front of her and kissing her, telling her that she was “pretty” — words the shy, awkward girl who had never had a boyfriend had only heard from her parents. Eventually, Hall progressed to digitally penetrating her and instructing her how to touch him and perform oral sex.
The woman said these assaults occurred in her home, in Hall’s vehicle, at a tournament and inside Hall’s North Richland Hills apartment, where he later lived with his girlfriend and their infant son.
She said he also showed her pornographic movies at his apartment, telling her, “You’ve got to learn somehow.”
With the guilty verdicts, Hall could be facing up to life in prison - where some of Melvin’s new cellmates would be happy for him to “learn” a few new things.