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The Boston Globe


Backers call Boston coach a mentor; police say he’s a predator

Jose Ortega was a legend in the Dominican communities in Hyde Park, Roslindale, and Jamaica Plain, the cofounder of a booming youth baseball organization that fielded teams for hundreds of kids from age 7 to 18. The Boston Broncos, they were called, and their alumni included such professionals as Nelfi Zapata, a catcher in the New York Mets farm system.

So when the Broncos’ 41-year-old coach was arrested in July on charges that he sent sexually suggestive Facebook messages to a 12-year-old on one of his teams, many players and parents rallied to Ortega’s defense. Some planned to raise money toward his $50,000 bail.

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