Wander Franco has played in 265 games for the Tampa Bay Rays since making his Major League Baseball debut, but it’s not a stretch to wonder if he’ll ever suit up for the team again in the wake of a scandal that continues to grow after new accusations surfaced in the Dominican Republic.
Things took a very unexpected turn earlier this week when Franco didn’t appear in a game against the Guardians after social media posts surfaced that led to allegations the 22-year-old shortstop has been engaged in a relationship with a 14-year-old girl.
Franco eventually took to Instagram Live to deny those accusations, but the team (which stated his absence from the aforementioned game was a scheduled rest day) still opted to place him on the restricted list as it works in conjunction with the MLB in an attempt to get to the bottom of the matter.
However, that’s not the only inappropriate relationship he’s been accused of being a part of.
According to the Dominican Republic publication Diario Libre, the Attorney General’s Office in Franco’s home country has launched its own investigation stemming from a complaint it received in July from a 17-year-old girl who said she’d also been involved with the infielder (the age of consent there is 18 years old).
The outlet says the minor in question has become decreasingly less interested in cooperating in the investigation and implied she may have been influenced by outside pressure, but also asserted there may be other underage girls linked to Franco based on conversations with officials who say they’re waiting on a judge to approve requests that will allow them to conduct a more in-depth inquiry into the matter.
It’s obviously worth stressing Franco hasn’t been officially charged or convicted of any crimes, but based on the evidence at hand, it doesn’t seem like this situation is going to be resolved at any point in the near future.