Report: ICE monitoring Felipe Vazquez's child sex charges, could seek deportation if convicted

·2 min read

Pittsburgh Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez is facing serious consequences after an arrest Tuesday on child pornography and solicitation charges. In addition to the end of his MLB career and a significant prison sentence, it appears deportation is also a possibility for the disgraced pitcher.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are tracking the child sex charges against Vazquez, according to the Wall Street Journal. That means the U.S. could seek to deport the Venezuelan pitcher if he is convicted of the crimes of which he’s accused.

Vazquez is currently being held without bond in an Allegheny County jail and faces extradition to Lee County in Florida, the location of his victim and where he lives in the offseason.

Vazquez accused of two-year relationship with 15-year-old

The allegations against Vazquez are sickening. The 28-year-old reportedly admitted to police that he had sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl and exchanged sexual photos and videos with her, according to a criminal complaint in Pennsylvania.

He allegedly suggested to the victim through text message that they would meet for sex once the Pirates’ season was over.

SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 17: Felipe Vazquez #73 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park May 17, 2019 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Judging from the charges against him, Felipe Vazquez is facing several years in prison. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Vazquez was arrested in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and now faces a litany of charges in Florida and Pennsylvania. In Florida, he is facing one count of computer pornography - solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors. In Pennsylvania, he faces counts of statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old.

Several of those charges carry potential prison sentences of several years. As for the status of Vazuez’s baseball career, the Pirates have already cleaned out his locker and begun removing any mention of him from PNC Park.

Deporting Felipe Vazquez could be tricky

Vazquez currently holds a green card allowing permanent residence in the U.S., but the document can be revoked in cases with aggravated felonies, which can include child sex charges.

However, deporting Vazquez could prove difficult for due to Venezuela’s political instability and a frosty relationship between Nicolas Maduro’s government and the U.S., per the Journal.

Deporting a foreign national typically requires the home country’s agreement to accept the person. Given that the U.S. has recognized Juan Guaido as the leader of Venezuela and imposed an economic embargo on Maduro’s government, as well as suspend all flights to Venezuela, a deportation for Vazquez sounds unlikely at this point.

One attorney with experience in removal orders for Venezuelans told the Journal that he was unaware of President Donald Trump’s administration being able to carry out such an order this year.

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