A former major league player is charged with making inappropriate comments to a grade-school girl and opening a bathroom door knowing she was changing clothes.
Marvin Benard, 46, has pleaded innocent to one count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes, a gross misdemeanor.
His trial is Feb. 6 in Benton County Superior Court.
Benard was hitting coach for the Tri-City Dust Devils in 2015. He also was a Major League Baseball outfielder for nine years, playing most of his professional career with the San Francisco Giants.
The girl was at Benard’s home in August when he offered to help her stretch after doing gymnastics and made an inappropriate comment, according to court documents.
Later, the girl locked herself in a bathroom to change, but Benard opened the door twice and said, “I’ve seen these things before,” court documents said.
The girl said she almost started crying and felt uncomfortable with the encounter.
She later told her mother something happened, but she didn’t want to say. She eventually talked about it.
In an interview with authorities, Benard allegedly admitted some of the comments and coming into the bathroom but denied helping her stretch, said documents.
A judge has allowed Benard to be out of jail without bail because he has significant ties to the community and no criminal history.
Benard, who lives in Kennewick, was ordered to have no contact with children other than his own while the case is pending.