Tampa Bay Rays' shortstop Wander Franco arrested in Dominican Republic

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco was arrested Monday in the province of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. File Photo by Steve Nesius/UPI

Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco was arrested after being interviewed in the Dominican Republic by prosecutors who are investigating him for alleged inappropriate relationships with minors.

Sources told ESPN and Dominican outlets Listin Diario and Diario Libre that Franco was arrested Monday morning in the Province of Puerto Plata for failing to appear on a summons.

He was initially asked to appear for an interview Thursday with prosecutor Olga Dina Llaverias. Officials visited two of Franco's properties last week, but could not locate the 22-year-old.

MLB and the Rays had no comment on the arrest. A league investigation into Franco is ongoing.

According to Dominican law, Franco must be brought before a judge within 48 hours after the arrest. No criminal charges related to the investigation have been filed.

MLB placed Franco on administrative leave Aug. 22. The Bani, Dominican Republic, native's return remains uncertain. He has denied the allegations.

The Rays announced in mid-August that Franco would go on the restricted list after social media posts claimed he was in a relationship with an underage girl. Franco was first held out of a Rays loss to the Cleveland Guardians on Aug. 13 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

He signed an 11-year, $182 million contract extension in 2021.