Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco was arrested in the Dominican Republic on Monday afternoon, according to ESPN. — an important distinction since it means Franco was not detained as a result of an advancement in the ongoing investigation into his alleged inappropriate relationships with multiple minors.
Franco and new attorneys Teodosio Jáquez Encarnación and Juan Francisco Rodríguez Consoró met with prosecutors on Monday morning to address those accusations. Dominican Republic laws stipulate that he’ll go before a judge within 48 hours, or sometime on Wednesday (Jan. 3) at the latest.
ESPN reported last week that at least two people have “filed legal action” against Franco, and that a third had accused him of improper behavior without yet seeking legal action. Dominican authorities and MLB have continued to investigate the allegations made against him.
The Associated Press reported that Franco recently changed his legal representation.
Franco, 22,in August after he was first accused of the improper relationship on social media. Franco continued to be paid for the rest of the season despite not appearing in a game since Aug. 12. The Rays, in what amounted to a paper move, activated him to the 40-player roster at the beginning of the offseason.
“We support any steps taken by the league to better understand the situation,” the Rays said in a statement in August. “Out of respect for all parties involved, we have no further comments at this time.”
Franco signed an 11-year extension worth $182 million with the Rays in November 2021. He made the All-Star Game this past summer.