Rays' Wander Franco Charged with S-xual Abuse, Minor Exploitation

Rays star faces grave accusations, legal battle ensues

by Zain ul Abedin
Rays' Wander Franco Charged with S-xual Abuse, Minor Exploitation
© Al Bello/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Rays infielder Wander Franco, aged 23, has been subjected to criminal charges of engaging in s-xual battery to a minor girl aged 14 years and exploitation of a minor when he was in the Dominican Republic. ESPN later confirmed the charges on Tuesday, after months of rumor that swirled around the suspension and the administration leave by Major League Baseball.

The case started coming into the limelight in August last year when both Franco and the young girl started featuring on social media platforms. The allegations resulted in his initial administrative leave, which began shortly after the Rays’ last game on August 12.

Adding to the details of the case, the girl’s mother was also charged for taking thousands of dollars from Franco in exchange for the girl’s consent to continue the relationship, the relationship which was reported to be four months long, according to the Associated Press.

This was documented in a detailed timeline in which it was realized that the formal complaint was made on July 10, 2023. Dominican law gave the prosecutors a specific period within which they could come up with charges, which also included an extra 10 days that was in the process of ending last Friday.

Franco's Legal Troubles

When Franco was alleged of pediatric s-xuality abuse, he was asked to attend a meeting with the Dominican Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for Children and Adolescents in December, where he needed to explain about accusations; however, Franco did not go to the meeting, which led to his arrest on January 1st for failure to go for the compulsory meeting.

He was set free a week later under the following bond that he should report to the police monthly. Early charges were of money laundering and involvement in commercial s-xual exploitation of women and children; these were later withdrawn once he was released in January.

It is now claimed that he s-xually and psychologically abused the girl. The law enforcement report from the Associated Press reveals that Franco relocated the minor from her home in Puerto Plata in December of 2022, allegations of a relationship with her mother's consent.

It presents another former All-Star player, Franco, who, incredibly, inked an 11-year, $182 million contract with the Rays in 2021. While this legal process is ongoing, MLB also investigates this situation, and ESPN supposes that this investigation will not be completed until his criminal trial.