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Atlanta Braves outfielder testifies in racketeering trial

Jones described an incident he said happened in 1996 or 1997  

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Atlanta Braves' outfielder Andruw Jones testified Wednesday he and other men had sex with two women in a hotel room he was invited to by an Atlanta strip club owner.

Jones' testimony came during the prosecution testimony phase of a trial against Steve Kaplan, owner of the Gold Club.

Kaplan is charged with facilitating prostitution in a sweeping federal racketeering indictment that also includes extortion, money laundering, credit card fraud, bribing Atlanta police and skimming cash to pay protection money to the Gambino organized crime family.

Six other defendants are also accused in the alleged conspiracy, including Michael DeLeonardo, an alleged captain in the Gambino family and "bagman" who is charged with taking protection payments from the club.

Federal prosecutors allege that Kaplan lured celebrities to his club by providing them with free food, drinks and sex.

Case file: Sex, sports and the mob: The Gold Club trial  

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In testimony Wednesday, Jones described an incident he said happened in 1996 or 1997. After he arrived at the Gold Club, he said, he was approached by Kaplan, who asked whether Jones would like to go to a party.

When Jones said yes, he was taken by limousine to the Hotel Nikko, a posh hotel in Atlanta's upscale Buckhead area. He was taken to an upstairs room where he saw two girls and five or six men.

Jones said the women were engaged in lesbian sex, which then turned to oral sex with the men. After that, the women and men engaged in intercourse.

Asked whether he engaged in intercourse with them, Jones said yes. He said he did not pay or tip anyone for the sex because he was told it was a party.

It was not established whether the women were employees of the Gold Club.

gold club
Atlanta's Gold Club is the focus of a federal racketeering trial  

Jones also testified that Kaplan was in the hotel during the encounter, but he could not recall whether Kaplan was in the room.

Jones said he returned to the Gold Club after about an hour, and that he then began to feel uncomfortable about the encounter.

The ballplayer testified he enjoys going to the Gold Club, and has been there at least 30 times. He called himself a "regular" at the establishment.

Jones was the second athlete to testify this week in the case. Monday, basketball star Patrick Ewing testified that dancers at the Gold Club performed oral sex on him on two separate occasions, and that Kaplan was in the room both times.

Ewing said he was told on both occasions that payment for the dancers had been "taken care of."

-- From CNN Correspondent Brian Cabell and Investigative Correspondent Art Harris


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