Following four months of investigations into alleged inappropriate relationships with minors, 22-year old Rays shortstop Wander Franco has been arrested in the Dominican Republic, according to local baseball reporters at various publications, and circulated by the Tampa Bay Times.
Dominican newspapers Listin Diario and Diario Libre said that Franco will be detained for 48 hours as will the mother of the minor who made the allegation.
After failing to report to a summons last week and parting with his lawyers, it would appear that Franco has hired new representatives and surrendered for questioning to the Attorney General’s office in the Dominican Republic earlier today, as first reported by baseball reporter Hector Gomez, who has been close to the situation throughout.
Wander Franco Update:— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) January 1, 2024
After being interrogated by prosecutors, Wander Franco is now under arrest at Puerto Plata. https://t.co/5xSfIC4OsI
Per the Tampa Bay Times, those lawyers are named Teodosio Jáquez Encarnación and Francisco Rodríguez Consoró. The Times was further able to confirm that previous unsubstantiated reports that the homes of Franco’s extended family members were searched:
On Dec. 26, two homes were searched as part of the Dominican Republic investigation: the home of Franco’s mother in the community of Palo Blanco in Baní and the home registered to Franco in Villa Real. Authorities also went to the homes of Franco’s uncles the next day. He was not found at any of the locations.
Looking forward, Franco is not expected to go before a judge until January 3rd, per Hector Gomez:
On Wednesday, Wander Franco will be taken in front of a judge to be arraigned [...] the prosecutors are expected to ask for Wander to remain in Jail with no bail as the process continues.
Wander Franco has effectively been on administrative leave since August 13, and is thereby currently on the Rays active roster. He is owed $2 million in 2024 as part of an 11-year, $182 million deal signed before the 2022 season.