Pirates' Felipe Vazquez arrested, charged with solicitation of a minor

By Sports Desk September 17, 2019

Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez has been arrested and charged with solicitation of a minor, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has confirmed.

According to the FDLE, Vazquez is facing one count of "computer pornography – solicitation of a child" and another of "providing obscene material to minors".

The 28-year-old had several electronic devices seized after a search warrant was served at his Pittsburgh apartment on Tuesday and could face additional charges after they are forensically examined.

An FDLE statement read: "FDLE agents, with assistance from the Pennsylvania State Police, today arrested Felipe Vazquez, 28, of Saint Cloud, FL, for one count of computer pornography – solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors.

"Vazquez, a baseball player with the Pittsburgh Pirates, was taken into custody in Pittsburgh this morning on a felony warrant out of Lee County, Florida.

"FDLE's investigation began in August of this year after agents obtained information that Vazquez had a reported sexual relationship with a 13-year old female victim who resides in Lee County. The victim, now 15 years of age, was continuing to have a relationship with Vazquez via text messaging and received a video in July from him in which he is shown performing a sex act.

"Additionally, Vazquez allegedly sent the victim text messages suggesting they would meet for sex after his baseball season was over.

"FDLE agents and Pennsylvania State Police served a search warrant today at Vazquez's apartment in Pittsburgh. Several electronic devices were seized and will be examined as part of this investigation. Additional charges are dependent upon completion of forensic exams.

"Vazquez was taken to the Allegheny County Jail, where he will face extradition to Lee County, Florida."

A statement from Pirates president Frank Coonelly read: "We were [on Tuesday] made aware of an active law enforcement investigation involving Felipe Vazquez and his subsequent arrest.

"We take this matter, and these charges in particular, extremely seriously. We have informed the [MLB] Commissioner's Office of the investigation and arrest. The Commissioner's Office will immediately place Felipe Vazquez 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 organisation, our staff and players cannot comment any further at this time."

Representatives for Vazquez did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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