GREENSBURG, PA. – Pittsburgh Pirates’ suspended pitcher Felipe Vazquez told a Westmoreland County jury on Wednesday that he had religiously asked for confirmation of the 50 women he met online to ensure they were safe during the two years that The prosecution was in a sexual relationship with a teenager above the consent age, according to our news partner The Trib.
Vasquez faces multiple charges of sexual assault on minors. He denies the allegations.
The Trib explained that Vazquez, who wore a blue suit and athletic glasses, told jurors his routine was asking women for proof of age before contacting them online and in person. He then described how his accuser contacted him on Instagram and spent days looking for an answer from him after she wished him a happy birthday in July 2017. Vazquez testified that the girl was reportedly 17 years old and approaching her 18th birthday.
“I had to know how old she was. I wanted to make sure she was that old, ”Vazquez told the jury. A few days later, she sent him a picture of her driver’s license in Pennsylvania on social media showing her age as 18, he claimed. “I relaxed a bit so I can talk to her.”
The teen denied sending Vazquez a picture of a forged ID card during her testimony earlier this week.
You can read more about Wednesday’s session at The Trib by clicking here.
During Monday’s trial, the alleged victim’s mother commented after opening the arguments and described how she found out that her daughter had communicated with Vasquez.
She said she spotted text messages on her daughter’s phone between her and a contact named “Justin”.
She also confirmed that there were two pictures on her daughter’s phone of Vazquez and at one point identified him as “closer to the Pittsburgh Pirates”.
Under cross-examination, Vasquez’s attorney Gary Gerson pressed the alleged victim’s mother on how she had disciplined her child and asked her to describe the day she took her older daughter to college and her younger 13-year-old too Left home.
After their testimony, the alleged victim took a position and things quickly got emotional. When the now 17-year-old described their only encounter, she said that Vasquez had written her a picture of him in front of her house the day she was home alone.
She said she was afraid to come out but went outside with her dog and then got into his car. A few minutes after the interview, she said that he put her on his lap and that while the two were facing each other, he “initiated intercourse”.
While crying, she testified that she felt numb after getting out of the car. In the days after their only physical encounter, she said she liked the attention and would continue to send him text images and videos of herself at Vasquez’s request.
The alleged victim in this case also admitted lying to Vasquez at her age, saying she was 17, not 13. The defense interrogates her on Tuesday.
Those in the courtroom told Channel 11 that Vasquez never made eye contact with his accuser.
He is also facing charges in Florida and Missouri after police said he had a sexual relationship with the girl who is related to those states.