• Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Prosecutors file evidence against Rays shortstop Wander Franco in Dominican Republic probe

Byusanewscart.com

Jan 4, 2024

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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Dominican prosecutors investigating Wander Franco amid allegations that the Tampa Bay Rays shortstop had a relationship with a minor delivered evidence Wednesday to a judge who is expected to soon rule on the player’s future.

The judge is scheduled to analyze the documents and other evidence collected during a monthslong investigation and issue a ruling Friday in a courtroom in the northern Dominican Republic province of Puerto Plata, where the alleged act occurred.

RAYS’ WANDER FRANCO ARRESTED AMID INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED RELATIONSHIPS WITH MINORS: REPORTS

The judge has several options: release Franco on bond, temporarily arrest him, prevent him from leaving the Dominican Republic or demand that he make occasional appearances until the investigation or a trial has ended.

The 22-year-old All-Star player remains in jail for now after being detained on Monday in Puerto Plata.

His attorney, Teodosio Jáquez Encarnación, has declined to talk to the press, saying only that Franco is doing fine.

Prosecutors also have declined comment.

Authorities have not shared details of the case, although prosecutors said on Aug. 14 that Franco was being investigated because of social media postings suggesting he had a relationship with a minor. The AP has not been able to verify the reported posts.

On Dec. 26, police and prosecutors visited two of Franco’s properties located in his hometown of Baní, just southwest of the capital of Santo Domingo, but the player was not there.

On Dec. 28, a prosecutor requested that Franco appear, but he did not do so until Monday, when he was detained following a nearly three-hour interview.

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Major League Baseball placed Franco on administrative leave in August under its joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy with the players’ association. He was paid and received service time while on leave.

There is no timetable for a conclusion of the MLB’s investigation and whether the results might lead to discipline by the organization.

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