Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher arrested for solicitation of a child in Lee County, who he met at PNC Park
Pittsburgh Pirates’ closer Felipe Vázquez has been arrested on charges of pornography and soliciting a child.
A news conference was held by Pennsylvania State Police in Greensburg, Pennsylvania Wednesday regarding his charges in the state. You can watch it in the player below:
Vazquez is currently awaiting extradition to Lee County from the Allegheny County Jail.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Vázquez was arrested just after 11 a.m. Tuesday in Pittsburgh on a felony warrant out of Lee County. Vázquez, 28, of Saint Cloud, Florida, is facing charges of computer pornography – solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors.
Pennsylvania State Police investigators and FDLE officials served a search warrant this morning at Vázquez’s apartment in Pittsburgh.
Investigators say they seized several electronic devices, which will undergo forensic examinations as part of the ongoing investigation.
On Tuesday afternoon, Vazquez’s bail was denied while he faces extradition to Lee County. That hearing is scheduled September, 25. The judge said she’s expecting additional charges.
Vazquez’s also faces new charges in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania of Statutory Sexual Assault – 11 Years or Older; Unlawful Contact with a Minor; corruption of Minors; and Indecent Assault.
Florida law enforcement officials say their investigation began last month after officials “obtained information that Vázquez had a reported sexual relationship with a 13-year-old female” in Florida. Authorities say the alleged victim, now 15, had gotten text messages from Vázquez saying they would meet up after baseball season.
Court paperwork reports that the teen’s mother discovered the messages sent to the victim that said, “I cant wait to see you during the off season.”
An incident report from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said Velazquez and the victim met at PNC Park, where they took pictures outside the bullpen.
The report says the victim found Vazquez on social media and the two began talking over the last three years.
Investigators say the victim also told police that Vazquez drove to her Pennsylvania home on one occasion.
She says Vazquez pulled her pants down while they were inside his car, and placed her on his lap, then tried to have sex with her.
The incident report says the reported incidents occurred between July 29 and Aug. 1 before being reported Aug. 5.
Investigators say the girl also allegedly received a video in July from the pitcher in which he is shown performing a sex act.
The arrest warrant affidavit says investigators were able to identify Vázquez by comparing photos of his tattoos.
The Pirates have placed Vazquez on the restricted list following the arrest.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle talked about the arrest prior to Tuesday night’s game.
“A lot of different emotions were stirred up today, in a lot of different places,” Hurdle said. “How do we connect and support our way through those emotions, how do we continue to improve and hold ourselves to a high standard on and off the field.”
Hurdle went on to say that the team needs to communicate together, and figure out what they need to do as an organization to help.
“At the end of the day, we’ve gone through the storm together, how are we going to get to the other side of it,” Hurdle said.
The Pirates president Frank Coonelly released the following statement:
“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. 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.”
Pirates President Frank Coonelly’s statement regarding Felipe Vazquez. pic.twitter.com/XWazDLP3YC
— Pirates (@Pirates) September 17, 2019
Vázquez is being held in the Allegheny County Jail. He will be arraigned this afternoon by an Allegheny County magistrate.
He also is facing extradition back to Florida.
- On the FDLE website you can review tips for keeping your children safe online
- Keeping Kids Safe Online: FBI Program Offered in Schools
- CISA: Security Tips to Keep Children Safe Online
- Missing and Exploited Children
- Secure Florida: Best Practices for Parents