Wander Franco’s Future Hangs in the Balance as Judge Reviews Evidence in High-Stakes Case

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A judge in the Dominican Republic will make a decision on the future of Tampa Bay Rays player Wander Franco on Friday, after considering evidence presented in court. Franco, who has a $182 million contract with the Rays, is facing accusations of engaging in sexual relations with a minor. The case began when photos were submitted as evidence and went viral on social media in August.

Franco has been in police custody since Monday and will appear before the judge at 8 a.m. EST. The judge will decide whether Franco remains in custody during the investigation, is released on bail, is prohibited from leaving the Dominican Republic, or is required to make occasional court appearances. The prosecution has requested that Franco be placed under house arrest with an $86,000 bond and temporarily be banned from leaving the country.

On Wednesday, prosecutors presented evidence alleging that Franco and the alleged victim’s mother were involved in commercial sexual exploitation and money laundering. The prosecution claimed that Franco made payments to the victim’s mother and allegedly gifted her a car. The court has a substantial amount of evidence supporting the payment claims.

The judge’s decision will have significant implications for Franco’s personal and professional life. He has a wife and two sons, and his future with the Tampa Bay Rays hangs in the balance. This is a developing story, and updates will be provided on WFLA.com as more information becomes available.