Ex-MLB Pitcher Arrested In Police Sting

(StraightNews.org) – Police arrested a former Boston Red Sox pitcher in Florida as part of a sting targeting the sexual abuse of minors. Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said his deputies detained 27 people as part of a major operation launched in April. Among those arrested was 33-year-old Austin Maddox, who was caught communicating with an undercover law enforcement officer he believed was a 14-year-old girl.

Mr. Maddox reportedly agreed to meet the fictional teenager, and when he turned up, agents arrested him. Reports indicate that Maddox continued speaking to the undercover agent even after he was informed that she was underage.

James Hill, the former pitcher’s defense attorney, said his client intends to plead not guilty and denies wrongdoing. Charges filed against Mr. Maddox include four felony counts of using a computer to seduce, solicit, or lure a child, soliciting a child by computer, the unlawful use of a communication device, and producing or promoting a performance that features a sexual act by a child.

Other suspects among the 27 detained reportedly turned up to meet fictional young people with drugs, including MDMA. Sheriff Waters said his officers had arrested the men before they had “the opportunity to act upon their perversions.”

The Sheriff’s office released video footage of the arrest, showing officers tackling Mr. Maddox to the ground. Deputies later said the pitcher had resisted arrest until police dogs were employed. He is held on a $300,000 bond.

Jacksonville native Maddox joined the Boston Red Sox in 2012, playing in the lower levels until making his MLB debut in 2017. Years earlier, in 2009, he graduated high school as the top catcher in the Sunshine State. His career progressed at the University of Florida, where he played alongside fellow future MLB star Mike Zunino.

His arrest came as part of Operation “Valiant Knights,” which ran in Florida from April 24 to 28 and involved teams of law enforcement officers seeking out potential child predators online.

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