Wander Franco Allegedly Paid Teen’s Mother to Sustain Relationship, Faces Serious Charges: The Latest Developments

Santiago, Dominican Republic — Wander Franco, the star shortstop for the Tampa Bay Rays, has been granted conditional release by a judge in the ongoing case against him. According to court documents obtained by The Athletic, Franco is accused of commercial sexual abuse and exploitation of a minor. The documents reveal that the teenage girl alleges that Franco paid her mother 100,000 Dominican pesos ($1,785) per month for seven months to maintain their relationship.

The allegations against Franco came to light during an interview between the minor and a psychologist as part of the investigation. The girl expressed her displeasure with her mother using her for personal gain, claiming that this dynamic has been ongoing since her childhood. In light of the accusations, the judge has ordered Franco to appear monthly before the Dominican Public Ministry and pay a financial guarantee of 2 million Dominican pesos ($34,482 USD). The mother of the minor has been placed under house arrest and barred from leaving the country until the conclusion of the legal proceedings.

The prosecution has requested a financial guarantee of 5 million Dominican pesos ($86,206 USD) against Franco, who stands accused of abducting and sexually abusing the minor over a two-day period. The father of the victim filed a complaint against Franco prior to his scheduled hearing, urging the judge to deny the request for house arrest.

Franco, who signed an 11-year, $182 million contract in 2021, has been on administrative leave from Major League Baseball (MLB) since the investigation into these allegations began last summer. The league is conducting its own investigation and has yet to announce any formal suspension for Franco. His future in baseball remains uncertain as the situation unfolds and MLB determines the appropriate course of action.

The Dominican Republic’s National Child Protection Legislation stipulates a penalty of seven years in prison for the sexual assault of a child or adolescent. However, it is not clear at this time what specific charges Franco may face.

Throughout the process, Franco has denied the allegations. In an Instagram Live video, he expressed his disbelief and claimed that people were spreading falsehoods. The Tampa Bay Rays have supported MLB’s decision to place Franco on administrative leave and have emphasized their commitment to upholding integrity on and off the field.

As the investigation into Franco’s case continues, it remains to be seen what actions MLB will take and whether Franco’s legal situation will impact his baseball career. The judge’s conditional release allows Franco to be out of custody while the case progresses, but he must adhere to the court’s requirements. The hearings and legal process will determine the ultimate outcome for Franco and the parties involved.

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