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Allegations of involvement with minors lead to the arrest of Wander Franco from the Tampa Bay Rays, as reported



Allegations of involvement with minors lead to the arrest of Wander Franco from the Tampa Bay Rays, as reported

In the Dominican Republic, Wander Franco, the shortstop for the Tampa Bay Rays, was apprehended on Monday as part of an inquiry into accusations of inappropriate relationships with minors, as reported by various sources.

The 22-year-old Franco was detained following a three-hour interrogation with prosecutors, according to an official from the prosecutor’s office in the Puerto Plata province who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

This arrest occurred shortly after the 2023 All-Star failed to attend a scheduled meeting with Prosecutor Olga Diná Llaverías.

According to ESPN, police visited two residences in Wander Franco’s hometown of Baní, but he was not found at those locations. The report states that his arrest was a consequence of his failure to attend the scheduled meeting with the prosecutor.

As per Dominican law, he is required to be presented before a judge within 24 hours.

Attorney Anthony Rickman, who is unrelated to this case, elucidates on why Wander Franco is facing additional legal complications.

“He doesn’t have to answer questions, but when he was given that summons to appear, it was equivalent to him ignoring the court, and not showing up to a court hearing,” Rickman said.

On August 22, Wander Franco was placed on administrative leave while Major League Baseball (MLB) probed into his alleged involvement with underage girls. According to an ESPN report, at least two individuals have initiated legal proceedings against the baseball player, and sources indicate an ongoing investigation into an alleged relationship with a third minor.

Franco’s most recent game was on August 12, and he was put on leave under MLB’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy in collaboration with the players’ association.

Recent reports suggest that prosecutors plan to request the judge, on Wednesday, to keep Franco in custody throughout the legal proceedings. Attorney Anthony Rickman suggests the judge could potentially grant this request.

“It also wouldn’t surprise me if the reason the government is holding him now on this failure to appear is because they’re anticipating charging him with unlawful sexual conduct,” said Rickman. “This may be the first shoe to drop against Wander Franco.”

The Tampa Bay Rays have conveyed their support for the MLB investigation into Wander Franco but have refrained from making any further comments on the matter since then.

“We support Major League Baseball’s decision to place Wander Franco on Administration Leave,” the Rays said at the time. “The Tampa Bay Rays are dedicated to upholding high standards of integrity both on and off the field. We appreciate the understanding and patience of our fans and supporters as this process unfolds. We will have no further statements on this matter until MLB completes its process.”

Wander Franco achieved All-Star status for the first time in the recently concluded season. He inked an 11-year, $182 million contract extension in November 2021, with a potential team option in 2033 that could elevate the total value of the deal to $233 million.

As of now, the Tampa Bay Rays have not provided a response to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

The fate of Franco’s current legal situation in the Dominican Republic hangs in the balance as a judge is set to decide on Wednesday whether he remains in jail throughout the ongoing investigation.

“This is an individual who the Rays invested a lot into and they don’t usually do. Somebody that our community got behind. He was the future of our organization here in Tampa,” Rickman said. “And now to see it all unravel specifically this week, where he’s now under arrest , it’s shocking to see how he’s fallen so far from Grace.”


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