A special prosecutor in the Dominican Republic is investigating a second formal complaint that Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco engaged in a relationship with a minor, the latest of three accusations against the 22-year-old, sources told ESPN’s Juan Recio.
After the first complaint against Franco was filed July 17, another girl alleged to the specialized prosecutor’s office for boys, girls and adolescents that she had a relationship with Franco as a minor, sources said. While the third girl has not spoken to authorities, they are still investigating her alleged relationship with Franco, sources said.
Prosecutors from the division, which investigates crimes committed against children, hope to speak with Franco in the coming weeks, sources told ESPN. In the D.R., the age of consent is 18. Anyone over 18 who engages in a sexual relationship with someone younger than 18 can be charged criminally.
Major League Baseball placed Franco, an All-Star, on paid administrative leave Aug. 22, pending the results of a league investigation into the allegations. He last played Aug. 12, the day before social media posts alleged an inappropriate relationship. The league started its investigation that night, and Franco was placed on the restricted list from Aug. 13 to 21.
The league often waits until a criminal investigation is concluded to discipline players under its joint policy with the MLB Players Association. The prosecutor’s investigation into Franco is expected to continue well beyond the end of the season, sources said.
MLB, the MLBPA and Franco’s United States-based lawyer, Jay Reisinger, declined to comment.
POST AUTHOR: Jeff Passan