Former All-Star Pitcher Deported After Abuse Conviction

( — Authorities deported a former all-star pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates after he was convicted of abusing a 13-year-old girl in 2021. Felipe Vazquez pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates for three years, starting in 2016, but is now living in Venezuela after his conviction for indecent assault.

After his 2019 arrest, Vazquez stood trial, where he faced ten counts of sexual abuse of children, two counts of illegal contact with a child, an indecent assault charge, and a corruption of a minor charge. Despite Vazquez admitting to the relationship, the jury did not convict him on all counts. Throughout his trial, Vazquez claimed he wasn’t aware of the minor’s age during the abuse and that he sought an adult woman to have a relationship with. Vazquez also requested that the minor show him some form of identification to prove she was an adult.

Authorities haven’t released the minor’s identity to the public, but she did admit to lying about her age to Vazquez before their relationship started. According to the minor, she told Vazquez she was 17 years old, but she did not show him any counterfeit legal identification to trick him into thinking she was an adult.

Prosecutors showcased evidence of Vazquez and the minor sharing inappropriate videos and photos throughout the illegal relationship, which lasted over two years. Vazquez’s defense attorney claimed the entire relationship originated from Vazquez’s mistaken belief that the minor was an adult, but Vazquez’s attorney failed to convince the jury. Following his conviction, immigration authorities began the deportation process for Vazquez. Vazquez also waived his right to an appeal following his conviction.

Vazquez isn’t only facing deportation for the inappropriate relationship, as his sentence includes several years of probation and a lifetime registration on the sex offender registry. Throughout the trial, Vazquez admitted to having a relationship with the minor and even referred to her as “kid” in multiple communications shared by the prosecution.

Vazquez’s defense also highlighted the yearly training provided by Major League Baseball to its athletes throughout the trial. According to Vazquez’s testimony, the training sessions included lessons on speaking English and managing his own social media accounts. The lessons also included how to verify another social media user’s age.

The defense and prosecution both agreed that Vazquez traveled to the minor’s location on multiple occasions and had inappropriate contact with the underage girl. Authorities deported Vazquez on December 1st, and he is currently in Venezuela.

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