Felipe Vazquez Arrested, Charged with Solicitation of a Child, Computer Porn

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2019

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Felipe Vazquez works in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in San Francisco. Pittsburgh won the game 4-2. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Eric Risberg/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez was arrested Tuesday in Pittsburgh on multiple charges, including computer pornography and solicitation of a child.

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Vazquez was also charged with one count of providing obscene material to minors.

Passan reported that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement launched an investigation into Vazquez in August. It alleges Vazquez has sexually exploited a 15-year-old girl in Lee County, Florida, since she was 13:

Per Passan, Vazquez allegedly sent a video of himself performing a sex act to the minor and texted the minor that he planned to meet her for sex following the 2019 MLB season.

David Kaplan of WTAE reported Vazquez is also facing charges in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, of statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with minor, corruption of minors, and indecent assault of someone less than 16.

Following his arrest, Vazquez was placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball, according to Passan.

"Today we were made aware of an active law enforcement investigation involving Felipe Vazquez and his subsequent arrest," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said in a team release. "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."

The 28-year-old Vazquez has been one of the most dominant relievers in baseball over the past three years. This season, Vazquez is 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 28 saves in 31 opportunities. He has also struck out 90 batters in 60 innings.

Vazquez has been named an All-Star in each of the past two seasons and was a hot trade candidate prior to this year's deadline.

Pittsburgh owns the second-worst record in the National League this season at 65-85, and it is last in the NL Central.

Vazquez is in the midst of his fifth MLB season and his fourth with the Pirates after beginning his career as a member of the Washington Nationals.

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