MLB All-Star Felipe Vázquez Arrested, Charged with Solicitation of a Child
Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star closer Felipe Vázquez was arrested Tuesday and charged with solicitation of a child, police say.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a news release that its agents, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania State Police, arrested him “for one count of computer pornography — solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors.”
The news release also provided more details into how authorities investigated Vázquez’s alleged conduct with a teenage resident of Lee County, Florida.
The victim was 13 when her “reported sexual relationship” with Vázquez began, police said, though she is currently 15 years old.
The girl “was continuing to have a relationship with Vázquez via text messaging and received a video in July from him in which he is shown performing a sex act,” the news release said, summing up the results of an investigation that started in August.
“Additionally, Vázquez allegedly sent the victim text messages suggesting they would meet for sex after his baseball season was over,” police said.
The pitcher was arrested at his Pittsburgh apartment, according to NBC News. Authorities searched Vázquez’s apartment, seizing “several electronic devices” in the process, and the pitcher himself “was taken to the Allegheny County Jail, where he will face extradition to Lee County,” police said.
Vázquez, 28, is a two-time National League All-Star (2018 and 2019) who was in the midst of his best season in the big leagues.
He’s pitched to a 1.65 earned run average with 90 strikeouts and 28 saves in 60 innings, one year after posting a 2.70 ERA in 70 innings pitched.
But now, Vázquez’s season may be over, as MLB has placed him on administrative leave.
Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez is being put on administrative leave by Major League Baseball following his arrest for solicitation of a child, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 17, 2019
“Today we were made aware of an active law enforcement investigation involving Felipe Vázquez and his subsequent arrest,” Pirates team president Frank Coonelly said in a statement.
“We take this matter, and these charges in particular, extremely seriously. We have informed the Commissioner’s Office of the investigation and arrest. The Commissioner’s Office will immediately place Felipe Vázquez on Administrative Leave (and, as a result, Restricted List) pursuant to the Joint MLB/MLBPA Policy,” he added.
“We need to be respectful to all involved and the ongoing legal proceeding. As a result, the organization, our staff and players cannot comment any further at this time.”
Pirates President Frank Coonelly’s statement regarding Felipe Vazquez. pic.twitter.com/XWazDLP3YC
— Pirates (@Pirates) September 17, 2019
According to TMZ Sports, which obtained Vázquez’s arrest affidavit, “the alleged victim’s mother was the one who essentially busted Vasquez — after she discovered the concerning images and video on her daughter’s phone.”
The images did not include Vázquez’s face, TMZ reported, but officials reportedly were able to identify the pitcher via his “unique and distinguishable” tattoos.
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