Rays shortstop Wander Franco formally charged with sexually abusing 14-year-old girl

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco was formally charged Tuesday with sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in the Dominican Republic.

Prosecutors charged Franco six months after a judge convicted him. ordered that he be examined in connection with sexual and psychological abuse of the girl.

Nairobi Viloria, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, confirmed to the Associated Press that prosecutors have submitted final and formal charges to the judge, but Viloria declined to provide further details.

The indictment also includes the girl’s mother. Prosecutors say Franco paid the girl’s mother thousands of dollars to consent to the relationship, which lasted four months. The girl’s mother remains under house arrest. The AP is not naming the woman to protect her daughter’s privacy.

Four days after the incident, prosecutors decided to file charges. the original deadline has passed on July 5th.

Franco, 23, is on administrative leave until July 14 under an agreement between Major League Baseball and the players’ association.

Administrative leave is not disciplinary under the sport’s joint policy on domestic violence, sexual abuse and child abuse, and a player continues to receive pay. Franco, who is on a $2 million salary this year, has remained in the Dominican Republic while authorities investigate.

“We are aware of the charges against Mr. Franco,” MLB said in a statement Wednesday. “Our investigation is ongoing and we will continue to closely monitor the case as it progresses.”

Tampa Bay’s All-Star shortstop hasn’t played since Aug. 12. Franco agreed to a $182 million, 11-year contract november 2021.

Jay Reisinger, Franco’s U.S. attorney, said Tuesday he could not comment because Franco had not received formal notice of any charges.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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