Former baseball player Lenny Dykstra, left, is led into a courtroom in San Fernando, Calif., Thursday, June 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Lenny Dykstra, the former fielder for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, was immediately taken into custody after being sentenced Monday in a Los Angeles courtroom to three years in state prison.
The Santa Ana-born lefty pleaded no contest to grand theft auto and filing a false financial statement in connection with a plot to lease high-end cars from several area dealerships using fraudulent paperwork, according to court records.
The judge rejected his last minute efforts to change the "no contest" plea and fight the charges, the L.A. Times reported.
In delivering the sentence, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig said the effort to steal cars showed "sophistication, planning." And prosecutors had argued that he did not exhibit any remorse toward his victims. "Mr. Dykstra might not believe he is a criminal, but his actions have been criminal," she said, invoking baseball terminology such as "strikes" and "home run" to underscore her point.
Dykstra addressed the court saying he was not proud of his actions but that he was not a criminal. He asked for leniency, in what was described as a "rambling and repetitive speech." He apologized to his family and told the judge he entered drug rehab voluntarily. He did not apologize to the victims, including the man whose identity was stolen.
Last year, Dykstra was charged with indecent exposure in Los Angeles for revealing his little batter to a number of women who responded to Craigslist ads he placed for personal assistants or housekeepers.