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Franco Arrested In Dominican Republic

Shortstop Wander Franco talks about his new 11-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays

Rays shortstop Wander Franco has been arrested in the Dominican Republic in connection to allegations that he has been involved in inappropriate relationships with minors.

According to MLB insider Hector Gomez, Franco, who was scheduled to appear before investigators after searches of his home and his mother’s home in Bani in late December were conducted, met with District Attorneys in Puerto Plata, in the northern part of the country.

According to Gomez, Franco was interrogated by investigators, and was then placed under arrest.

Gomez reports that Franco is scheduled to appear before a judge Wednesday, and that prosecutors are expected to ask that the 22-year-old be held without bail while proceedings are ongoing.  However, ESPN’s Enrique Rojas and Juan Arturo Recio report that the arrest stems from not showing at a scheduled meeting with investigators on December 28.

Franco was first accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor girl in August.  The Rays placed Franco on the restricted list before Major League Baseball transferred him to their administrative leave list, where he remained until the end of last season.  He was placed back on the team’s 40-man roster after the season as a procedural move.  The Rays, who said they supported Major League Baseball decision to place Franco on administrative leave when the move was made, has not commented publicly on the investigation.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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