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Another complaint filed against Rays’ Wander Franco: ESPN report

The new allegation is the second filed in the Dominican Republic and makes for three total regarding improper relationships with minors.
 
Rays shortstop Wander Franco is on administrative leave and out of action while Major League Baseball and authorities in his native Dominican Republic investigate allegations of improper relationships with minors.
Rays shortstop Wander Franco is on administrative leave and out of action while Major League Baseball and authorities in his native Dominican Republic investigate allegations of improper relationships with minors. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Aug. 30, 2023|Updated Aug. 30, 2023

Dominican Republic authorities are investigating a second formal complaint against Rays shortstop Wander Franco for engaging in a relationship with a minor, ESPN reported Wednesday.

Citing sources, ESPN said a second girl reported an allegation to the special prosecutor’s office. The first complaint was filed in July.

These complaints are in addition to the allegations that surfaced on social media Aug. 13 alleging an improper relationship with a minor that led to Franco being placed under investigation by Major League Baseball and taken off the field.

He initially was placed on the league’s restricted list for a week. On Aug. 22 he was placed on the more formal administrative leave for an indefinite period pending resolution of the investigation under the league/players union’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.

Per ESPN, the new issue is under investigation by the Dominican National Agency for Boys, Girls, Adolescents and Family and Gender Violence Unit even though the girl making the allegation “has not spoken with authorities.”

ESPN also reported via sources that the Dominican Republic investigation is “expected to continue well beyond the end of the season,” and that prosecutors hope to talk to Franco, 22, “in the coming weeks,” which would make a return this season unlikely in any circumstance.

There is no timetable for conclusion of the MLB investigation, but it could be that league officials wait for the results of the Dominican investigation before deciding on potential discipline.

The league and the players union declined comment Wednesday. So did Franco’s U.S.-based attorney, Jay Reisinger, per ESPN.

The Rays have said they won’t have any additional comment until the MLB investigation is complete. In advance of the last homestand, the Rays removed all signage and merchandise featuring Franco from Tropicana Field, and edited his highlights out of commercials.

Franco has not commented on the situation since an Instagram Live session on Aug. 13, before the allegations on social media circulated widely, in which he seemed to dispute the accusations.

While on administrative leave, which is considered a non-disciplinary action, Franco continues to receive his $2 million salary and service time.

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