Judge Grants Conditional Release to Wander Franco Despite Ongoing Investigation

Wander Franco Meets Conditional Bail Terms (RAYS)

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco has been ordered released by a judge in the Dominican Republic, pending an investigation into allegations of a relationship with a 14-year-old girl and payments to her mother.

Franco, 22, is accused of commercial sexual exploitation and money laundering. He was detained on Monday and has not been charged.

Rays’ Wander Franco Granted Conditional Release (RAYS)

The judge ruled that Franco can leave the country but must return monthly to meet with authorities and pay a deposit of 2 million Dominican pesos (approximately $34,000). Franco’s father exclaimed, “God is just,” as supporters outside the courthouse cheered and chanted “Boss! Boss!”

The investigation began after an anonymous tip in July, and prosecutors have gathered evidence, including a 600-page document detailing the allegations. Franco’s lawyers have not commented, but the athlete has denied the allegations, claiming it was a scheme to extort money from him.

Authorities accuse Franco of sending the girl’s mother monthly payments and buying her a car in exchange for consent. The girl’s mother has been ordered under house arrest. Franco has been placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball, which is conducting its own investigation.

The case has drawn attention in the Dominican Republic, with a small group of young players gathering outside the courthouse to support Franco.

The All-Star shortstop signed a $182 million contract in 2021 and has been a rising star in the baseball world. The investigation is ongoing, and Franco’s future in baseball remains uncertain.