September 17, 2019 / 5:31 PM / a year ago

Pirates closer Vazquez charged with solicitation of a child

Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star closer Felipe Vazquez is in police custody on multiple charges, including solicitation of a child, authorities said Tuesday.

Sep 11, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates closing pitcher Felipe Vazquez (73) throws against the San Francisco Giants in the ninth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Vazquez, 28, is being held in the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh awaiting extradition to Lee County, Fla.

According the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Vazquez was arrested by the Pennsylvania State Police on a felony warrant and faces one count of computer pornography-solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors.

The Florida agency began investigating Vazquez in August after receiving reports that he had been involved in a sexual relationship with a teenager since she was 13 years old in Lee County, located in southwestern Florida.

“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,” the FDLE said in a release. “Additionally, Vazquez allegedly sent the victim text messages suggesting they would meet for sex after his baseball season was over.”

He has been placed on administrative leave and the restricted list by Major League Baseball.

“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 statement. “We take this matter, and these charges in particular, extremely seriously. ... 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.”

Police served a search warrant at Vazquez’s Pittsburgh apartment and seized several electronic devices.

Vazquez earned his second straight All-Star selection this season. The left-hander is 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA and 28 saves in 56 appearances. He last pitched on Thursday in San Francisco.

—Field Level Media

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