Wander Franco scheduled for Aug. 14 trial after being charged with sexual abuse of 14-year-old girl

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 14 after being charged with sexually abusing a 14-year-old lady within the Dominican Republic, authorities stated Wednesday.

Prosecutors filed a number of prices towards Franco six months after a choose ordered that he be investigated in reference to sexual and psychological abuse of the lady.

Nairobi Viloria, the lawyer common’s workplace spokesperson, confirmed to The Related Press that prosecutors introduced the formal accusation to a choose.

The indictment additionally contains the lady’s mom. In keeping with prosecutors, Franco paid the lady’s mom 1000’s of {dollars} to consent to the abuse, which lasted 4 months. The lady’s mom stays beneath home arrest and faces a cash laundering cost.

The AP isn’t figuring out the lady to protect her daughter’s privateness.

Essentially the most critical prices that Franco faces are rape, for which he may obtain sentences of between 10 and 15 years in jail, and human trafficking, which is punishable within the Dominican Republic by sentences of between 15 and 20 years.

Franco has remained within the Dominican Republic whereas authorities examine. He has been required to make month-to-month monitoring visits to the court docket since January. In April, he requested that the visits be suspended, which the choose denied.

Franco, 23, might be tried in a court docket within the province of Puerto Plata, within the north of the nation, the place the occasions allegedly occurred.

“I imply, finally, critical prices, very regarding,” Rays supervisor Kevin Money stated earlier than the workforce’s recreation Wednesday. “Most likely finest that I don’t remark a lot previous that and maintain our deal with this workforce.”

MLB positioned Franco — who has a $2 million wage this yr — on its restricted checklist, chopping off the pay he had been receiving beneath administrative depart.

He had been receiving 50% of his wage on that depart, an individual aware of his scenario advised the AP, talking on situation of anonymity as a result of that element has not been disclosed publicly. That meant Franco accrued $559,140, or half of his wage for 104 days of the 186-day season.

Franco additionally is not going to obtain service time whereas on the restricted checklist, a placement that’s not thought-about disciplinary motion.

“We’re conscious of the costs towards Mr. Franco,” MLB stated in an announcement. “Our investigation stays open, and we are going to proceed to intently monitor the case because it strikes ahead.”

Tampa Bay’s All-Star shortstop has not performed since Aug. 12. Franco agreed to a $182 million, 11-year contract in November 2021.

Jay Reisinger, Franco’s U.S.-based lawyer, stated Tuesday he couldn’t remark as a result of Franco had not acquired formal notification of any prices.

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AP Baseball Author Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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