On September 14, 2022, Jane Doe filed an amended civil lawsuit with the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, which alleged that she was subjected to sexual crimes committed by Felipe Vazquez, a renowned professional Major League Baseball (MLB) player and star pitcher with the Pittsburgh Pirates, as well as other MLB teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and the Washington Nationals.
Plaintiff claims that the offenses began when she was 12 years old and continued until she was 15, when her parents discovered the ongoing offenses and acted to cause them to cease.
On August 16, 2023, the Court awarded Doe over $11 million. In a parallel criminal lawsuit, Vazquez was sentenced to two to four years in Pennsylvania state prison for the statutory sexual assault of Doe.
In advance of committing his crimes, Doe claimed that Vazquez groomed, enticed and manipulated her, as a minor child, into communicating and meeting with him based on his celebrity status. The allegedly purposeful process and tactics employed by Vazquez, in and of themselves, infused a false sense of fault in Doe for her own abuses, and otherwise inflicted severe emotional distress and mental health harm on Doe which constituted child abuse in addition to the sexual offenses allegedly committed.
The counts against Vasquez addressed in the lawsuit included:
- Producing, distributing, and receiving pornographic photos and video recordings of then underage Doe, constituting as illegal child pornography.
- Facilitating and participating in interstate or foreign commerce in connection with the child pornography.
- Engaging in and admitting to sex crimes with Doe, whom he had identified as appearing “too young” for such sexual activities that he allegedly instigated.