Major League Baseball pitcher Felipe Vasquez was arrested this week for allegedly soliciting a teenage girl for sex via text messages and other electronic means.
Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement teamed up with Pennsylvania State Police to take the 28-year-old pitcher into custody in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, the FDLE said in a statement. He was arrested on one count of computer pornography — solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors.
Vasquez, of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is alleged to have been sexually involved with the girl, now 15, beginning when she was 13 years old, the agency said. Vasquez lives in St. Cloud, Florida during the off-season, and his victim lives in Lee County; he allegedly suggested to the girl via text message that he wanted to meet her for sex following the conclusion of the baseball season.
He is also accused of sending the child a video of himself in July that shows him engaged in a sex act, according to the FDLE release.
The FDLE said that they began investigating Vasquez in August, after receiving a tip regarding his alleged activities. The department, as well as Pennsylvania police, obtained a warrant to search the ball player’s apartment in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, where they retrieved “several electronic devices” related to the case, the FDLE said.
Vazquez was booked at the Allegheny County Jail, but he is set to be extradited to Lee County, Florida, where the felony warrant for his arrest was issued, according to the release.
Following Vazquez’s arrest, Pirates President Frank Coonelly issued a statement acknowledging the matter and stating that Vazquez will be placed on administrative leave as a result of the arrest.
“Today we were made aware of an active law enforcement investigation involving Felipe Vazquez and his subsequent arrest. We take this matter, and these charges in particular, extremely seriously,” the statement reads. “We have informed the Commissioner's Office of the investigation and arrest. The Commissioner's Office will immediately place Felipe Vazquez on Administrative Leave (and, as a result, Restricted List) pursuant to the Joint MLB/MLBPA Policy.”
“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,” the statement continues.
Vazquez began his MLB career with the Washington Nationals in 2015 and was traded to the Pirates the following year. The Venezuelan native, who’s twice been an All-Star, was fined earlier this month after getting into a fight with another player in the visitors’ clubhouse, according to USA TODAY.
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