Hours after being hit with charges of solicitation of a child by Florida authorities on Tuesday, Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez, a two-time All-Star, was charged with statutory sexual assault in an unrelated case in Pennsylvania.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced in a press release that their 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.”
That alleged victim, now 15, had an ongoing text-based relationship with the 28-year-old pitcher, the FDLE said, and recently received a video from Vázquez in which he performed a sex act.
Officials also said that Vázquez—who hails from St. Cloud, Florida—told the young girl via text that they would meet up for sex during the off-season.
The girl also told police that Vázquez had at one point driven to her Pennsylvania home and tried to have sex with her by pulling her pants down while the two were inside his vehicle and placing her on his lap, according to an incident report from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office cited by CBS Pittsburgh.
Investigators reportedly identified Vazquez using photos of his tattoos. He was arrested at his apartment in Pittsburgh and is being held in Allegheny County Jail while awaiting extradition to Lee County, Florida, where he will face charges. His lawyer said a hearing on extradition is scheduled for Sept. 25.
Vazquez was denied bail on Tuesday afternoon, with the judge saying he could pose a flight risk and that there was a possibility of more charges against him.
Florida officials had hinted at additional charges earlier Tuesday, saying “several electronic devices” had been seized for examination and “additional charges are dependent upon completion of forensic exams.”
Indeed, according to ESPN, Vázquez was eventually hit with four more charges—three felonies and one misdemeanor—in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania: statutory sexual assault of a minor 11 years or older; unlawful contact with a minor; corruption of minors; and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old.
Authorities there said the charges were not related to the case in Florida.
The left-handed pitcher, nicknamed “Nightmare,” made his MLB debut in 2015 with the Washington Nationals, before being traded to Pittsburgh a year later. Since then, he has become the Pirates’ full-time closer and been named an All-Star in 2018 and 2019.
After the charges were announced MLB put Vázquez on administrative leave.
“Today we were made aware of an active law enforcement investigation involving Felipe Vázquez and his subsequent arrest. We take this matter, and these charges in particular, extremely seriously,” Pirates President Frank Coonelly said in a statement. “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.”