Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco was taken into custody on Monday in the Dominican Republic as part of an inquiry by prosecutors into his alleged involvement with a minor, according to an official from the prosecutor’s office in the Puerto Plata province.
Accompanied by two attorneys, Franco presented himself before prosecutors after failing to attend a meeting with prosecutor Olga Diná Llaverías a few days earlier, as disclosed by an anonymous official to The Associated Press. The interview, lasting nearly three hours, followed a prior request by Llaverías for Franco to appear on December 28. Earlier, authorities had visited two of Franco’s properties in Baní, his hometown located around 37 miles southwest of the capital, in an attempt to secure his presence, but he was not found at the time.
Due to the involvement of a minor, authorities have provided limited details about the case. According to Dominican law, Franco must be presented before a judge within 24 hours. Franco’s U.S. attorney, Jay Reisinger, refrained from commenting, and attempts to reach Franco’s Dominican attorneys were unsuccessful.
Wander Franco attended the Puerto Plata Prosecutor’s Office with his lawyers as a result of the investigation being carried out against him, due to an accusation that allegedly links him to an improper relationship with a minor
In August, the Dominican Republic’s prosecutors’ office announced an investigation into Franco based on social media posts suggesting a relationship with a minor. The authenticity of these reported posts has not been independently verified. MLB placed Franco on administrative leave in August under its joint policy with the players’ association, addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.
He continued to receive pay and service time during this period. The conclusion of MLB’s investigation and the potential disciplinary actions remain uncertain.