Wander Franco leaves prison in the Dominican Republic amid an investigation of sexual exploitation against a minor

Wander Franco leaves prison in the Dominican Republic amid an investigation of sexual exploitation against a minor

Santo Domingo – Wander Franco, the shortstop of the Tampa Bay Rayswas released from a prison in the Dominican Republic on Monday amid an ongoing investigation into allegations of having had a relationship with a 14-year-old minor.

Franco paid 2 million Dominican pesos ($34,000) as the financial guarantee required by the judge who ordered his conditional release on Friday.

Although Franco can leave the Dominican Republic, he will have to appear before the authorities every month while the investigation continues.

Franco did not give statements to the reporters who surrounded him upon his release on Monday afternoon in the northern province of Puerto Plata, where he was detained a week ago.

The 22-year-old All-Star is accused of commercial sexual exploitation and money laundering. Prosecutors allege he paid thousands of dollars to the teen’s mother and offered her a car in exchange for her consent. The mother — who is 35 years old — was also charged in the case and is under house arrest. The AP has not released the woman’s name in order to preserve the privacy of her daughter.

It was not immediately clear whether Franco plans to leave the Dominican Republic.

Franco was having a stellar season before he was sidelined from the team in August, when Dominican authorities began investigating allegations that he had been in a relationship with a minor. Major League Baseball launched its own investigation and placed Franco on the restricted list on August 14. before placing him on administrative leave on August 22. Both investigations are ongoing.

Franco signed an 11-year, $182 million contract in 2021. His salary last year and this year is $2 million per season.

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