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Rays Wander Franco faces arrest in the Dominican Republic

Rays Wander Franco faces arrest in the Dominican Republic Photo: Rays' Wander Franco faces arrest in the Dominican Republic (GettyImages)

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco has been arrested in the Dominican Republic for failing to appear at a scheduled meeting with prosecutors concerning an investigation into an alleged inappropriate relationship with a minor. The arrest was not directly related to the allegations but due to his absence from the legal proceedings, according to ESPN.

Franco was initially summoned to meet with the Specialized Prosecutor's Office for Children and Adolescents last week in Santo Domingo, which he did not attend, leading to his arrest when he appeared in Santo Domingo with his lawyers on Monday.

Reports indicate that the minor's mother, involved in the complaint, has also been detained. Franco is scheduled for arraignment, with prosecutors planning to request that he remain jailed without bail.

Claims emerged on social media in August suggesting that Franco was involved with an underage girl. In response, MLB began an investigation, and the Rays added Franco to the restricted list on Aug. 14. He was then put on administrative leave by MLB on Aug. 23. Franco's last game for the 2023 season was on Aug. 12.

Wander Franco

The background of this incident involves Wander Franco's significant career achievements, including making his first All-Star team in 2023 and signing an 11-year, $182 million contract with the Rays in 2021.

However, his career was disrupted in August 2023 when allegations of inappropriate relationships with minors emerged, leading to his placement on the restricted list and ending his season prematurely.

These developments highlight the severe nature of the allegations and the legal and professional consequences that can arise from such cases.