A Former Red Sox Pitcher Is Arrested in an Underage Sex Sting — the World Looks for His Wife

Austin Maddox was one of 27 men arrested in a multi-agency child predator sting. It was called Operation Valiant Knights.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

May 21 2024, Published 1:21 p.m. ET

Former Red Sox pitcher Austin Maddox
Source: Getty Images

Content warning: This article discusses child sexual abuse.

For three years in the mid-2000s, the world was obsessed with a particularly harrowing NBC show. Every episode featured variations of the same disturbing story. A team of investigators posed as underage children, then engaged in conversations with adults who were trying to strike up a sexual relationship with these kids. When these potential predators arrived at the house where the child supposedly was, host Chris Hansen would appear and tell them to have a seat, "right over there."

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To Catch a Predator was both eye opening and sickening. Despite being very familiar with the show, we weren't prepared for a different version. May 2024, video of the arrest of a former Red Sox pitcher was uploaded to social media. Austin Maddox was allegedly meeting a 14 year-old girl, but instead, he met a house filled with law enforcement. And while this should be the priority, people wanted to know if someone like that could possibly be married.

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Is Austin Maddox married?

According to the Daily Mail, Maddox is not married. Unfortunately in a desperate attempt to uncover as much personal information about him as possible, internet half-sleuths mistakenly thought he was. As news of Maddox's alleged crime spread, the name Ashley Maddox was quickly attached to his.

If your name is Austin Maddox and you didn't play for the Red Sox, you might be on the receiving end of some awkward questions. Take "digital marketing and media dude" Austin Maddox who currently lives in Waco, Texas. He's obviously having a heck of a day because as of the time of this writing, he had to update his own website with a shocking message. "I am not the Ex-Red Sox pitcher that was recently arrested in Florida," he wrote. "Same name, different person." This guy, however, is married to Ashley.

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What did former Red Sox pitcher Austin Maddox allegedly do?

CBS News reported that Maddox was one of 27 people arrested in Florida in what police are calling a "child predator operation. The arrests themselves happened in late April 2024 and were carried out as part of a multi-agency operation. At a news conference on May 20, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said Operation Valiant Knights was "focused on identifying and arresting those who use the internet to sexually exploit children."

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He went on to say that Maddox had "traveled with the intent of engaging in sexual activity with a 14-year-old child." Maddox, who was 33 at the time of his arrest, continued to express an interest in having sex with who he thought was an underage child after she told him her age. After agreeing to a meeting spot, he arrived and was taken into custody by law enforcement. Maddox initially resisted arrest which forced police to involve their K-9 unit.

Video of the multiple arrests was released by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. At least one man was trying to sexually exploit a minor he believed was 8 years-old. Another by the name of Robert Lee Suitor arrived with a handgun as well as MDMA, which is an illegal drug. Yet another individual worked at a school as a maintenance man and sent nude photos to "detectives whom he thought were a 13 year-old girl." Detectives assured media their investigations were far from over.

Report online or in-person sexual abuse of a child or teen by calling the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 or visiting childhelp.org. Learn more about the warning signs of child abuse at RAINN.org.

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