GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) A judge is recommending that former Major League Baseball player Chad Curtis be found liable for battery in a lawsuit by young women who say they were inappropriately touched as high school students in western Michigan.

Curtis has been in prison since 2013 for criminal sexual conduct at Lakewood High School. Four women are suing him and others for financial damages in Grand Rapids federal court.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Ellen Carmody on Tuesday said Curtis' conviction establishes liability on the claim of battery. She also ruled in favor of a fourth woman who wasn't part of the criminal case but accused him of battery.

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The recommendation now goes to U.S. District Judge Janet Neff.

The 47-year-old Curtis played for six teams, including the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees.