Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez has been arrested on child solicitation charges, according to an announcement by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The FDLE issued a warrant, and Vazquez was arrested and booked in an Allegheny County Jail based on that warrant.
The FDLE issued the following in a press release about the charges:
“FDLE’s investigation began in August of this year after agents obtained information that Vazquez had a reported sexual relationship with a 13-year old female victim who resides in Lee County. The victim, now 15 years of age, was continuing to have a relationship with Vazquez via text messaging and received a video in July from him in which he is shown performing a sex act. Additionally, Vazquez allegedly sent the victim text messages suggesting they would meet for sex after his baseball season was over.”
Pirates president Frank Coonelly issued the following statement on the charges:
“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. 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.”
MLB also issued a statement confirming that Vazquez was placed on administrative leave. Multiple people on Twitter have reported that the Pirates have already removed all signs of Vazquez around PNC Park, including photos of those signs coming down.
I’m going to leave any baseball analysis out of this, as the impact to the Pirates is obvious and doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things for this case. As for legal analysis, I can’t provide that, but it should be possible to determine if these charges are legit, as Vazquez had multiple electronic devices seized during the arrest.
Overall this is a horrible situation and if true, Vazquez shouldn’t be allowed to play another game in the league.
UPDATE 4:41 PM: Vazquez was denied bail by the judge, and there are more charges:
Breaking:Felipe Vazquez denied bail. Judge says more charges expected. #wpxi
— Rick Earle (@WPXIRickEarle) September 17, 2019
My colleague @JimWTAE, citing sources, confirms that the charges in Florida ARE THE SAME VICTIM. Note the offense date on the charges in my last tweet are from 2018. The original affidavit notes that the victim had moved to Florida. #WTAE
— David Kaplan (@DKaplanWTAE) September 17, 2019