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Pirates pitcher denied bond on child sex assault charges

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Washington (AFP)

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Felipe Vazquez will remain in jail on charges of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl after a Pennsylvania judge denied him bond during an arraignment on Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

The 28-year-old Venezuelan left-hander, a Major League Baseball All-Star hurler the past two seasons, had a translator during the court proceedings before Westmoreland County District Judge Charles Moore in Mount Pleasant.

Vazquez was 5-1 with a 1.65 earned-run average and 28 saves when placed on administrative leave last week by MLB following his arrest on sexual assault of a minor.

Vazquez is accused of statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors and indecent assault of a person under 16 for his alleged assault of the girl in his Mercedes automobile in August 2017.

According to a criminal complaint, the girl, now 16, told police she got into his car and he removed her pants and tried to have sex with her.

Police say Vazquez admitted to the incident last week when police arrived to take him into custody on a Florida warrant regarding sexually explicit photographs and a video he is accused of sending to the girl by use of a cell phone.

The legal age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16.

Vazquez, according to the newspaper, told police the girl contacted him on Instagram and sent him naked photos. He sent sexually explicit and videos in exchange, according to the complaint.

The girl's mother discovered the communications after the family had moved to Florida, sparking the investigation there that led to the charges in Pennsylvania once it was learned of the contact between Vazquez and the girl.

Vazquez, police said, sent the girl a message in July saying he wanted to have sex with her.

Vazquez has a career record of 17-13 with a 2.61 ERA and 402 strikeouts with 89 saves in five major league seasons with Pittsburgh and Washington.

The Pirates are 66-91 with the second-worst record in the National League. The season ends on Sunday.

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