All-Star pitcher Felipe Vazquez, who was arrested Tuesday and charged with multiple felony child sex charges, reportedly met the alleged victim at Pittsburgh's PNC Park and took pictures with her outside the bullpen.
Vazquez, the closer for the Pittsburgh Pirates, was in custody following an investigation into an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl, officials said. He was charged with statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors and a misdemeanor count of indecent assault of a person under 16 years old.
The 28-year-old met with the alleged victim at the Pirates’ home ballpark after she contacted the pitcher on social media beginning their communication, according to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Fla., incident report obtained by CBS Pittsburgh.
Vazquez reportedly drove to the alleged victim’s home in Pennsylvania on at least one occasion. She accused the pitcher of pulling down her pants while they were in his vehicle and attempted to have sex with her, CBS Pittsburgh reported, citing the incident report.
The girl, now 15, allegedly received a text message from Vazquez in July in which he was performing a sexual act. He also texted the girl to ask if she wanted to meet for a sexual encounter at the end of the baseball season, police said.
Vazquez’s face was not visible in the sexual images sent to the alleged victim and authorities were able to identify him by matching tattoos in the picture against the tattoos of Vazquez they discovered on the internet, the Associated Press reported, citing an affidavit.
The alleged victim’s mother discovered the messages with Vazquez and told the pitcher he was talking with a minor, according to the affidavit. Authorities matched the evidence to Vazquez’s phone number.
The pitcher was taken into custody by Pennsylvania State Police and was charged stemming from an investigation in Florida. He was later charged in Westmoreland County, which is located east of Pittsburgh.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said it began investigating Vazquez in August after learning about an alleged sexual relationship between a girl and Vazquez. The girl was 13 at the time of the alleged relationship.
Vazquez was denied bond as the judge said she believed he was as a flight risk, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Vazquez has since been placed on paid administrative leave.
“We take this matter, and these charges in particular, extremely seriously,” Pirates president Frank Connelly said in a statement.
Pirates starting pitcher Chris Archer commented on Vazquez’s arrest Tuesday.
“It's something that hits home,” he said. “I have a 14-year-old sister. In the U.S., you're innocent until proven guilty. Until due process is completely played out, we're hoping that this stuff's not true.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.