Former Pirates All-Star closer Felipe Vazquez was found guilty of a litany of charges Thursday, stemming from his September, 2019 arrest.
A Pittsburgh-area jury found Vazquez guilty of 10 counts of sexual abuse of children, two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, one count of statutory sexual assault, one count of corruption of a minor and one count of indecent assault of a person under 16 years old (via Pittsburgh CBS Local).
Sentencing is still to come, but Vazquez is facing multiple decades in prison.
As noted, Vazquez was originally arrested in 2019. From the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at the time:
FDLE agents, with assistance from the Pennsylvania State Police, today arrested Felipe Vazquez, 28, of Saint Cloud, FL, for one count of computer pornography – solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors. Vazquez, a baseball player with the Pittsburgh Pirates, was taken into custody in Pittsburgh this morning on a felony warrant out of Lee County, Florida.
FDLE’s investigation began in August of this year after agents obtained information that Vazquez and a reported sexual relationship with a 13-year-old female victim who resides in Lee County. The victim, now 15 years of age, was continuing to have a relationship with Vazquez via text messaging and received a video in July from him in which he is shown performing a sex act. Additionally, Vazquez allegedly sent the victim text messages suggesting they would meet for sex after his baseball season was over.
Vazquez was immediately placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball, ending his five-year career that included trips to the 2018 and 2019 All-Star Games.
Throughout the course of the trial, Vazquez maintained he did not know the girl was underage. He said he thought she was a woman and wanted a relationship with her. More details via CBS Local in Pittsburgh:
Also on the stand, he said his accuser walked like a model at a fashion show. When prosecutors asked him to walk like the accuser, the 6-foot-4 Vazquez complied. His attorney followed up by saying to let the record reflect Vazquez sashayed around the courtroom like a model.
The defense in their closing arguments continued to press that the accuser played Vazquez and made him believe she was an adult woman. They claim she engaged in baiting Vazquez into the sexual acts.
After deliberation, the jury found Vazquez guilty of all the above charges. He was found not guilty of 10 related charges of unlawful contact/communication with a minor.
Vazquez will be sentenced within 90 days.