Tony Avelar/Associated Press
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Felipe Vazquez, who faces numerous felony charges related to alleged sex crimes with a minor, said Tuesday that police officers lied last year when they said he confessed to having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Vazquez is seeking to have evidence collected by the Pennsylvania State Police and Florida Department of Law Enforcement thrown out. He said in a pretrial hearing Tuesday he was scared of being shot when he met with officers Sept. 17 last year because of his experience with police in his native Venezuela, per Rich Cholodofsky of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
“People are scared of police. You have to do whatever they say, or they will put you in jail or shoot you,” Vazquez said.
Vazquez and Pennsylvania state trooper Michael Thompson gave different accounts of the September meeting in which the two-time All-Star allegedly confessed, per T.J. Quinn of ESPN. Thompson said officers entered Vazquez’s apartment peacefully after being invited in; Vazquez said officers forced their way into his home. Thompson alleged Vazquez admitted to having intercourse with the girl, which Vazquez denies.
Vazquez has been charged with statutory sexual assault of a minor, unlawful sexual contact with a minor, child pornography and corruption of a minor, among other charges, for the alleged sexual relationship he had with the 13-year-old. Parents of the girl alerted authorities after finding naked pictures, purportedly of Vazquez, on her phone.