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Wander Franco still under arrest: Prosecutors seek commercial sexual exploitation and money laundering charges

Dominican prosecutors have leveled serious accusations against Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco.

The 22-year-old All-Star player faces charges of commercial sexual exploitation and money laundering following allegations of a relationship with a then 14-year-old.

The case has taken a concerning turn with accusations also directed at the minor's mother.

Franco's serious legal accusations in the Dominican Republic

Dominican prosecutors are seeking stringent measures against Franco.

They have requested an $86,000 bond, urged the judge to bar him from leaving the Dominican Republic, and proposed house arrest.

The money laundering charges stem from allegations that Franco made payments to the minor's mother.

Prosecutors emphasize that these measures are crucial to "guarantee the integrity of the process."

ESPN reported that at least two individuals have filed legal action against Franco, while a third has accused him of improper behavior.

Both Dominican authorities and MLB are actively investigating the allegations. The seriousness of the charges has led prosecutors to deliver evidence to a judge, who will rule on Franco's future.

The judge, based in Puerto Plata, will analyze documents and evidence collected during the months-long investigation, with a decision expected on Friday.

The judge has several options, including releasing Franco on bond, temporary arrest, preventing him from leaving the country, or requiring occasional appearances until the investigation concludes.

Franco, an All-Star player, remains in jail after being detained on Monday in Puerto Plata.

His new attorney, Teodosio Jáquez Encarnación, has kept a tight lid on details, stating only that Franco is doing fine.

Franco hasn't played in MLB since August

Franco's troubles began in August when he was accused of improper relationships on social media.

Placed on Major League Baseball's Restricted List, he continued to be paid for the remainder of the season despite not playing since August 12.

The Rays, who signed Franco to an 11-year extension worth $182 million in November 2021, expressed support for league investigations in August.

"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."

As the legal proceedings unfold, Wander Franco's future in both the Dominican Republic and MLB hangs in the balance.

The severity of the charges and the ongoing investigations will undoubtedly have lasting repercussions on his career and personal life.

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