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Ex baseball coach pleads not guilty to sex charge

A former youth baseball coach pleaded not guilty to transporting a minor across state lines with the intent to have sex, prosecutors said Tuesday.
TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) - A former youth baseball coach pleaded not guilty to transporting a minor across state lines with the intent to have sex, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Walter Richard Roberts, 61, of Texarkana was taken back into custody after a brief court appearance during which he entered the not guilty plea. He's due back in court Sept. 4 for a detention hearing.

Prosecutors said Roberts was a youth baseball coach from 1986 through 1994.

An indictment alleges Roberts transported a minor across state lines with the intent to engage in sexual activity in the late '80s. The indictment doesn't specify the minor's age or gender.

Craig Henry, a Texarkana lawyer listed for Roberts in court records, didn't immediately return a phone message. A woman who answered the phone number listed for Walter R. Roberts told a reporter they didn't have anything to say and then hung up.

Prosecutors said that from 1986 to 1989, Roberts coached 9- to 11-year-old boys who played on the Texarkana, Ark., youth baseball team sponsored by Dox Sporting Goods. From 1989 through 1991, he coached 11- to 14-year-old boys on the Texarkana, Ark., youth baseball team sponsored by Pepsi, prosecutors said. Throughout those years, from 1986 through 1994, Roberts also served as a coach for the Texarkana, Arkansas All-Star Tournament youth baseball team for boys ages 9 through 14.

Prosecutors said if Roberts is convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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