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Wander Franco allegedly paid hush money to underage girl’s mom

Wander Franco

Wander Franco
Photo: Getty Images

Dominican prosecutors allege that Wander Franco paid hush money to the mom of the underage girl he is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with.

The Tampa Bay Rays shortstop is being accused of commercial sexual exploitation and money laundering — along with the minor’s mother.

The 22-year-old All-Star has been in jail since he was detained in Puerto Plata on Monday. Prosecutors want Franco held on an $86,000 bond, and recommend that he and the girl’s mother be kept under house arrest and barred from leaving the D.R., per the Associated Press.

A ruling is expected to be issued on Friday. The judge could release Franco on bond; temporarily arrest him; bar him from departing the country; or demand he make occasional appearances until the trial or investigation finishes. 

If there’s a lack of evidence, the case could be dismissed, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“These measures requested by the Public Ministry seek to guarantee the integrity of the process,” it said in a statement yesterday. 

Franco’s attorney Teodosio Jáquez Encarnació wouldn’t to speak to the media — prosecutors also declined comment — but told them his client is doing fine.

Police were unable to locate the shortstop when they searched two of his properties in the Dominican Republic on Dec. 26. He failed to show up for questioning by the prosecutor’s office two days later, but appeared Monday for a three-hour interview session. 

Franco was placed on administrative leave by the MLB back in August. 


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