Pirates pitcher arrested for solicitation of child | News Coverage from USA

Pirates pitcher arrested for solicitation of child

Christopher Bumbaca

USA TODAY

Published 1:08 PM EDT Sep 17, 2019

Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Felipe Vazquez has been arrested for soliciting a child for sexual acts, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) said. 

Agents from the FDLE and Pennsylvania State Police took the 28-year-old Vazquez into custody in Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning on one count of computer pornography – solicitation of a child – and one count of providing obscene material to minors. 

“Today we were made aware of an active law enforcement investigation involving Felipe Vázquez and his subsequent arrest. We take this matter, and these charges in particular, extremely seriously.  We have informed the commissioner’s office of the investigation and arrest,” said Pirates president Frank Coonelly in a statement Tuesday.

“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.  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 FDLE said its investigation began last month when agents became aware of a sexual relationship and a 13-year-old female victim, who is now 15. The two continued having a relationship over text messages, and the child received a video in July from Vazquez “in which he is shown performing a sex act.” Vazquez also sent texts insinuating that the two would meet up after the baseball season for sex. 

Following the arrest, police seized electronic devices that will be examined as part of the investigation. Officers brought Vazquez to Allegheny County Jail in Pennsylvania, and he will be extradited to Lee County, Florida for trial. 

Vazquez is a back-to-back All-Star who has saved 65 games over the last two seasons with a 2.22 ERA and 179 strikeouts in 126 appearances. Last week, he and fellow reliever Kyle Crick were involved in a locker-room confrontation that resulted in Crick being injured. 

The left-hander was a popular trade candidate at the July 31 deadline this summer, and there was a decent chance he’d be moved this offseason. 


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