The trial of former MLB pitcher Felipe Vazquez on charges he had sex with a 13-year-old girl continued Wednesday with disturbing testimony about the text messages he subsequently sent her – including some in which he calls her “slave” and “my possession.”
Vazquez, a two-time All-Star with the Pittsburgh Pirates, faces two dozen felony charges in Westmoreland County, Pa., of statutory sexual assault, indecent assault of someone under 16, corruption of a minor and unlawful contact with a minor. He’s been in custody at the Westmoreland County Prison without bond since his arrest in September 2019. Vazquez has maintained he was led to believe the girl was 17, which is the age of consent.
In tearful testimony this week, the girl said she and Vazquez had sex in his car outside of her Pittsburgh-area home in 2017, when she was 13, hours before an afternoon Pirates game, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The girl, who is now 17, began crying while describing how Vazquez pulled down her pants and briefly penetrated her. Vazquez testified the girl told him she was an adult at the time, and claims she messaged him a photo ID showing she was of legal age. She has denied showing him ID.
Wednesday’s developments in the trial focused on electronic evidence retrieved from Vazquez’s phone and laptop — including nude photos, videos and sexual conversations, according to the Post-Gazette.
Vazquez and the girl began talking when she reached out to him on Instagram in summer 2017 to wish him a happy birthday, according to Westmoreland County Assistant District Attorney James Lazar. Vazquez responded and asked her to communicate with him through Snapchat.
In their conversations, the girl called Vazquez “papi,” “daddy” and “bae.” He addressed her as “mami” and “babe.” Later messages show Vazquez calling the girl “slave” and “my possession.”
When they planned to meet again in Orlando in 2018, Vazquez texted, “You’re going to stop being a kid now?” and told her to “grow up,” according to her testimony.
And in one exchange from 2019, the girl sent Vazquez a photo in her underwear, to which he replied, “Wow look at you. Not the one little kid I meet three years ago anymore.”
According to the Post-Gazette, the girl’s mother testified she discovered the messages between her daughter and Vazquez after the family moved to Florida in 2019. One message included a photo of Vazquez in his underwear. Vazquez’s contact in the girl’s phone was listed as “Justin (School).”
Vazquez, 29, has been under suspension by the Pirates and MLB since the allegations first surfaced. Vazquez also faces criminal charges in Missouri and Florida related to the same girl. The latter cases are pending.