Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Felipe Vazquez has been charged with ten counts of child pornography and 11 other felonies, even as he’s already facing charges of having allegedly sexually assaulted a 13-year-girl, TMZ reports.
Vazquez, 28, was spotted shackled at the wrists and ankles at a Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, courtroom today. Although the purpose of the hearing was not immediately known, the timing seems to suggest that Vazquez was there with regards to bond in response to the earlier allegations.
Back in September, as Pittsburgh’s WTAE-TV reported at the time, Vazquez was arrested and charged with a host of crimes following allegations that, in 2017, he’d had a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old Florida girl. He is alleged to have had sex with her in the back of a car in Pennsylvania in 2017. He was later charged with statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old.
Vazquez allegedly admitted to having sex with the girl in his car but purportedly said that it was “sex, but not really,” as he was unable to penetrate her after a minute of trying.
Now, Vazquez is facing even more potential prison time, thanks to some evidence that was purportedly turned up while investigating the crimes he’d already been charged with.
In Mt. Pleasant, PA, for Pirates pitcher Felipe Vazquez’ preliminary hearing. He’s been held without bond. Expecting his lawyer to seek release on bond today. pic.twitter.com/0af0sYp93P— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) November 19, 2019
Authorities say they found photos and videos of the alleged underage victim in “various stages of nudity” in Vazquez’s phone. Additionally, Vazquez and the victim allegedly exchanged sexually-explicit texts and photos — texts which the mother found and reported to the authorities.
Authorities say that the man in the pictures has tattoos that they could match to publicly-available photos of Vazquez.
Because of the new evidence, Vazquez faces an additional 21 felony charges. Ten are for possession of child pornography, 10 for unlawful contact with a minor and one for corruption of minors. Each of the new charges carries a maximum sentence of seven years if convicted, which means Vazquez could be looking at nearly 150 years in prison on those charges alone.
In addition to the Pennsylvania charges, Vazquez is also facing two felony charges in Florida in relation to the alleged solicitation of the girl.
As for his status in Major League Baseball, it appears that, for the time being, Vazquez is still a Pirate, though as Major League Baseball reported in September, he was placed on the Pirates’ Restricted List, effectively meaning that his contract is still in force but his team can opt to not pay him. The Major League Baseball Commissioner’s Office placed him on administrative leave.