Pirates' Felipe Vazquez Found Guilty of Sexually Assaulting 13-Year-Old Girl

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 21, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 12: Felipe Vazquez #73 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the bottom of the ninth inning at Oracle Park on September 12, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The Pirates won the game 4-2. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Felipe Vazquez was found guilty on 15 counts including statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact or communication with a minor, indecent assault and corruption of a minor, among other charges, on Thursday, according to Rich Cholodofsky of TribLive.com.

The 29-year-old Vazquez had a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old girl in 2017.  

He was found not guilty on 10 other counts, including charges of unlawful contact or communication with a minor. Per that report, "he was acquitted of the 10 charges related to sexually explicit text messages, pictures and videos prosecutors said Vazquez and the teen exchanged over the two years before his arrest in September 2019 and found by police on the pitcher’s laptop."

Vazquez and his defense team had claimed that the MLB pitcher believed the girl was 18 when they met, not a minor. The prosecution countered that Vasquez referred to the girl as "kid" in a number of the messages they exchanged and that her appearance should have tipped him off that she wasn't 18. 

Vazquez argued that she dressed and acted like an older woman. 

“The jury believed he used his position as a professional athlete to prey upon a young girl,” assistant district attorney Jim Lazar said Thursday.

He is also facing charges in Florida for a sexual encounter with the same girl, after she moved to the state in 2018, and in Missouri on pornography charges after he and the girl reportedly sent each other sexually explicit messages in 2019.

Vazquez last pitched in Major League Baseball in the 2019 season.