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Ex-Pirates Star Found Guilty of Statutory Sexual Assault, and Other Charges

Former Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez was found guilty of statutory sexual assault, sexual abuse of children, and child pornography, among other charges, by a jury in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania on Thursday (May 21).

ESPN reports Vazquez, 29, a two-time All-Star during his four seasons with the Pirates, was found guilty on 15 counts, which also included corruption of minors. The former relief pitcher also found not guilty on 10 counts of unlawful contact or communication with a minor.

Vazquez's defense in the case was that the victim, who was 13 at the time, misled him about her age. The former pitcher was 26 at the time of the incident.

Vazquez made his closing arguments before jurors deliberated for about four hours prior to reaching a verdict. The former closer faces additional charges in Florida and Missouri in relation to other alleged behavior with the victim.

Vazquez was arrested on September 17, 2019, in relation to the incident and, according to a Pennsylvania criminal complaint, told officers he had "sex but not really" with the victim in 2017, while also admitting to communicating with her via text messages and social media, as well as sending her nude videos of himself participating in sexual acts.

The investigation into Vazquez began after the girl's mother discovered photographs of the former pitcher on her daughter's device and contacted authorities. The girl's mother also informed Vazquez that the victim was a minor via text message.

Vazquez last appeared in a Major League Baseball game as a member of the Pirates on September 12, 2019, five days prior to his arrest.

The Venezuela native also spent his first two seasons with the Washington Nationals in 2015 and 2016.

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