Wander Franco Accused of Sexual Exploitation and Money Laundering in Shocking Dominican Republic Case

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – Tampa Bay Rays star Wander Franco is facing allegations of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was 21 years old. Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic claim that Franco made regular payments to the girl’s mother, who used the money to purchase property, a car, and electronic devices. The shocking details were revealed in a 63-page court filing, which accused both Franco and the girl’s mother of commercial sexual exploitation and money laundering.

Franco made his first appearance before a judge and was released on conditional terms. He will have to pay a financial guarantee of approximately $34,000 and make monthly visits to the court for six months. While Franco was not placed under house arrest or restricted from leaving the country, the judge ordered house arrest for the mother of the girl.

In an interview with the psychologist as part of the investigation, the minor claimed that her mother used her for personal gain and mentioned seven monthly deposits and the car as part of the arrangement with Franco. The allegations also pointed to Franco’s mother making payments to the minor’s mother.

The relationship came to light when the girl reached out to a digital media company, providing evidence of her relationship with Franco in an attempt to pressure her mother into sharing the money she had received. The girl later retracted her story, but prosecutors believe it was an attempt to divert attention away from herself.

Authorities allege that Franco sent monthly payments of $1,700 for seven months to the girl’s mother and bought her a car. Franco’s mother also allegedly sent money to the girl’s mother. However, she has not been charged in the case. Authorities conducted raids at the homes of Franco’s relatives and seized significant amounts of cash and assets related to the case.

Despite the legal proceedings, there is still a possibility that Franco could face suspension from the league. He signed an 11-year contract with the Rays worth $182 million in 2021. Franco has not played since August 2023 and was elected to his first All-Star team earlier that year.

The investigation by Dominican Republic authorities into the allegations against Franco has been ongoing since Christmas. The Rays’ spring training is set to start in February, but they may face challenges with their shortstop position due to uncertainties surrounding replacements.

In conclusion, Wander Franco, a Tampa Bay Rays star, is facing serious allegations of engaging in a sexual relationship with a minor. Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic have leveled charges of commercial sexual exploitation and money laundering against both Franco and the mother of the minor. Franco appeared before a judge and was released on conditional terms, while his mother was placed under house arrest. The investigation into the allegations is ongoing, and Franco could face both legal and league sanctions.