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Rays' Wander Franco formally charged by Dominican prosecutors: report

Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Baseball

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic have formally charged Rays shortstop Wander Franco with sexual abuse and sexual exploitation against a minor, ESPN reported late Tuesday night.

Prosecutors for six months were working with a July 5 deadline to file formal charges. When they didn’t file Friday, under the Dominican legal process they were given another 10 days from the time they were notified by the court.

According to a report from ESPN’s Juan Arturo Recio, they did that on Tuesday.

Franco been under investigation by Dominican authorities since shortly after social media posts on Aug. 13 first alleged that he had an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

 

Prosecutors reported receiving several complaints before the focus of the investigation became a relationship that started in December 2022, when Franco was 21 and the girl was 14. In January, they presented a nearly 600-page report to a judge that included not only details of the alleged sexual relationship but also allegations that Franco paid the girl’s mother for consent to continue.

Franco, 23, has spent most of the time since the issue surfaced on administrative leave, a non-disciplinary status created by Major League Baseball and the players union for players who are under investigation. He continues to receive his $2 million salary. His current stint runs through July 14, with another extension possible pending developments.


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