Shocking Trial Update: Wander Franco Faces Serious Charges in Dominican Republic Abuse Case

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Wander Franco, shortstop for the Tampa Bay Rays, is set to stand trial on August 14 after being accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in the Dominican Republic. The charges were brought forward by prosecutors six months after a judge ordered an investigation into the alleged sexual and psychological abuse of the girl.

According to the attorney general’s office spokesperson, Nairobi Viloria, the formal accusation has been presented to a judge. The indictment also implicates the girl’s mother, alleging that Franco paid her thousands of dollars to allow the abuse to occur over a period of four months. The girl’s mother is currently under house arrest and faces charges of money laundering related to the case.

The charges against Franco include rape and human trafficking, with potential sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years in prison. Franco, who is 23 years old, has been cooperating with authorities in the Dominican Republic since the investigation began. Despite his request to suspend monthly court monitoring visits, the judge denied his plea.

The trial will take place in the province of Puerto Plata, where the alleged incidents occurred. The MLB has placed Franco on its restricted list, halting his pay under administrative leave. Not only has he missed playing time, but he also does not receive service time while on the restricted list, despite not being considered a disciplinary action by the league.

Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash expressed his concerns over the serious charges against Franco and emphasized the team’s focus on their upcoming games. With Franco not playing since August 12, his $182 million, 11-year contract is now under scrutiny. Franco’s U.S.-based lawyer, Jay Reisinger, refrained from commenting on the charges as Franco had not been formally notified.

As the case against Wander Franco unfolds, MLB continues to investigate the matter closely, stating that their monitoring will persist throughout the legal proceedings. The impact of these allegations on Franco’s career remains to be seen, as both legal and professional consequences loom large in the horizon.