Tampa Rays Wander Franco charged with sexual abuse of teenager: reports

Tampa Rays Wander Franco charged with sexual abuse of teenager: reports

The teenager’s mother has been charged with agreeing to an alleged relationship between Wander Franco and the teenager in exchange for money, reports say.

SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco has been formally charged with allegations of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in the Dominican Republic, media reports say.

Franco, 23, was formally charged on Tuesday with suspicion of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of minors, ESPN reported. The original deadline to file charges against Franco was Friday, the report said.

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The 2023 All-Star was first investigated on July 10, 2023, after he was accused of having sexual relations with the teenager, ESPN reported.

The girl’s mother was charged and remains under house arrest after prosecutors said she received thousands of dollars from Franco in exchange for agreeing to have a relationship with her daughter, the Associated Press reported. The alleged relationship lasted four months, the news agency reported.

FILE – Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during a baseball game, Aug. 13, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Franco was arrested Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, in the Dominican Republic after being questioned by prosecutors investigating him for an alleged relationship with a minor, according to an official with the Puerto Plata provincial prosecutor’s office. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

According to ESPN, the alleged relationship began in December 2022.

Franco is currently on leave from Major Baseball through July 14, according to MLB’s Rays Up and his MLB player profile.

“The leave of absence is not considered punitive. Under the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Harassment and Child Abuse Policy collectively negotiated by MLB and the MLB (Players Association), players on administrative leave continue to receive their Major League salary and services while being removed from the roster. The club continued to pay Franco his $2 million salary last season, part of the 11-year, $182 million guaranteed extension he signed after the 2021 season,” Rays Up wrote.

Franco’s attorney, Jay Reisinger, told the Associated Press he could not comment because Franco had not received an official indictment.