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Retired baseball star Dykstra jailed for lewd conduct

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former New York Mets star Lenny Dykstra was sentenced on Wednesday to 270 days in jail and 36 months probation over charges that he exposed himself to five women who answered his Craigslist ads for an assistant or housekeeper.

One woman told authorities the former ballplayer held a knife and forced her to massage him, prosecutors said.

Dykstra, 49, had earlier pleaded no contest to charges of lewd conduct and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the accusations, prosecutors said.

In sentencing Dykstra, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered him to stay away from the victims in the case and barred him from posting ads on Craigslist or social networking sites, prosecutors said.

The lewd conduct and assault charges were unrelated to two other criminal cases against Dykstra, who was sentenced to three years in state prison in March following an October plea to grand theft auto charges in what prosecutors said was a scheme to lease cars using phony business and credit information.

In September, Dykstra's friend Christopher Gavanis pleaded no contest to one count of filing a false financial statement in that case and his former accountant, Robert Hymers, pleaded no contest to one count of identity theft.

Last year, a federal grand jury indicted Dykstra on bankruptcy fraud and obstruction of justice charges, accusing him of stealing or destroying some $400,000 in property that was part of his bankruptcy case.

The former star athlete faces up to 80 years in federal prison if convicted of the federal charges. He is expected to stand trial in that case later this year.

Nicknamed "Nails" during his playing days, Dykstra is perhaps best remembered by Mets fans for the 1986 season, when he struck a walk-off game-winning home run in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.

The key lead-off home run that he struck sparked a comeback by the Mets from a 2-0 series deficit to win the championship over the Boston Red Sox.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Todd Eastham)

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