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Rays' Wander Franco still faces legal repercussions from Dominican Republic prosecutors

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco, center, is escorted by police to court in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic Friday, Jan. 5, 2024. Dominican prosecutors on Wednesday accused Franco of commercial sexual exploitation and money laundering following allegations that he had a relationship with a minor whose mother also faces the same charges. (AP Photo/Ricardo Hernández)
Ricardo Hernandez
/
AP
Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco, center, is escorted by police to court in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic Friday, Jan. 5, 2024.

Franco is accused of committing sexual and psychological abuse of the minor. The deadline to press charges was July 5, but Dominican Republic law allows a judge to grant an extra 10 days for prosecutors to present their conclusions.

Wander Franco still faces legal repercussions from prosecutors in the Dominican Republic for allegations that he had a relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

The deadline for the prosecutors to press charges against the shortstop for the Tampa Bay Rays was July 5, six months after a judge ordered Franco to be investigated for committing sexual and psychological abuse of the minor.

Franco was released from prison on parole.

The law in the Dominican Republic allows a judge the power to grant an extra 10-days for the prosecutors and victims to present their conclusions.

In those 10 days, the prosecutors will be able to formulate their accusation, request that the case be closed or withdraw the charges, and the victims can dismiss their accusation or continue with it.

“The deadline literally expires after six months, but there is a requirement that must prevail for that, and that is that the judge notify the prosecutor and notify the victim,” said Dinora Diloné, the father of the minor’s lawyer.

Since January, Franco has been required to make monthly control visits to the judge.

In April, Franco requested the visits to be suspended, but that was denied by the judge.

According to prosecutors, Franco paid the girl’s mother thousands of dollars to consent to the relationship, which lasted four months. The girl’s mother is also charged in the case and remains under house arrest. The AP is not releasing the woman’s name to preserve her daughter’s privacy.

Franco is under administrative leave by Major League Baseball and the player's association through July 14.

Tampa Bay’s All-Star shortstop has not played since Aug. 12 while MLB continues its investigation into an alleged relationship with a minor.

Administrative leave is not disciplinary under the sport’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy, and a player continues to be paid. Franco, who has a $2 million salary this year, has remained in his native Dominican Republic while authorities there investigate.