Eight Texas Rangers prospects were questioned by police in the Dominican Republic after a video showed a group of players sexually assaulting an underage teammate in a hazing incident that targeted players new to the team’s Dominican complex, sources familiar with the case told Yahoo Sports.
While prosecutors in the Dominican Republic have yet to press charges for the alleged assault, they told the court they intend to charge at least four players who held down a teammate and masturbated him, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Among those expected to be charged are the younger brother of Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor, also named Rougned, and Yohel Pozo, a top catching prospect, both 19 years old. The players facing potential charges have been told not to leave the country, according to sources.
Video of the alleged assault, which took place toward the end of October, was captured and posted on Snapchat, according to sources. A 10-second clip of video, obtained by Yahoo Sports, shows the alleged victim in a Rangers shirt and Rangers shorts laying on a bed with his arms held behind his back and his legs pinned down. At least four men are seen in addition to the alleged victim, whose penis is exposed, grabbed and maneuvered underneath a hand towel. All of the men in the video, including the alleged victim, are seen laughing.
The alleged assault was one of a number of hazing incidents of Venezuelan and Colombian players, some of whom were younger than 18, according to sources. More tenured players shaved the head of at least one new player and forced at least one other to take his clothes off, and sources said police are investigating at least one more allegation of forced masturbation.
The players were questioned around Nov. 9 after the Rangers informed Dominican police of the alleged incident at their complex in Boca Chica, D.R., where their two Dominican Summer League teams play and players from across Latin America train. The Rangers have been one of the most successful teams in Latin America over the past decade, grooming some of their franchise cornerstones at the complex.
The Rangers reported the alleged assault immediately after a staff member in the Dominican Republic was told of it by a player not involved, and Major League Baseball opened an investigation into the alleged assault, as Fox Sports first reported late last week. MLB, which placed the four players facing potential charges on administrative leave, declined comment.
In a statement to Yahoo Sports, the Rangers said: “The Texas Rangers became aware of an incident at our Academy in the Dominican Republic and we acted promptly to open an investigation. We have reported the incident and are cooperating fully with Major League Baseball and the authorities in the Dominican Republic. With this being an ongoing investigation, we will have no further comment at this time.”