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Tampa Bay Rays' Wander Franco fails to show up for meeting with Dominican prosecutor

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco failed to show up Thursday for a meeting with a prosecutor who is investigating him for an alleged relationship with a minor.

Prosecutor Olga Diná Llaverías said the investigation will continue regardless of Franco's no-show. She waited for the All-Star player and his lawyers at her office, but they didn't appear.

Dominican prosecutors and police showed up on Tuesday at a Franco property in Baní, his hometown about 37 miles southwest of Santo Domingo. They did not find the 22-year-old player to request he appear for testimony.

Wander Franco
Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays during a game against the Cleveland Guardians at Tropicana Field on Aug. 12, 2023, in St Petersburg, Florida. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Franco's U.S.-based lawyer, Jay Reisinger, declined comment.

The Dominican Republic's prosecutors' office said on Aug. 14 that Franco was under investigation because of postings on his social media channels suggesting he had a relationship with a minor. The Associated Press has not been able to verify the reported posts.

Franco's no-show could be because his current lawyers may not have been summoned for the meeting. The AP had access to a document in which lawyers Luz Díaz Rodríguez, Rosalina Trueba, Cristian Cabrera and Manuel Rodríguez were dismissed by Franco.

Franco was having an All-Star season before being sidelined in August, when authorities in the Dominican Republic began investigating claims that Franco had been in a relationship with a minor. 

MLB launched its own investigation, placing Franco on the restricted list on Aug. 14 before moving him to administrative leave on Aug. 22 under its the joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy with the players' association. He was paid received service time while on administrative leave. There is no timetable for a conclusion of MLB's investigation and whether the results of the probe might lead to discipline by MLB.

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