Who Is Wander Franco's Wife? Married Rays Shortstop Charged With Sexual Abuse of Minor

Wander is accused of taking a 14-year-old girl from her home in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and having a four-month sexual relationship.


Jul. 10 2024, Published 5:45 p.m. ET

Wander Franco #5 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Tropicana Field on August 12, 2023 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Source: Getty Images

In July 2024, Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco was formally charged with sexual abuse and sexual exploitation against a minor.

The news came nearly a year after allegations first started making the rounds online, when some photos of Wander with his alleged victim appeared on social media.

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Wander, who was initially placed on administrative leave following the allegations, is married with two kids, leaving folks to wonder what this all means for his family.

 Tampa Bay Rays Shortstop Wander Franco (5) throws the ball over to first base during the MLB regular season game between the Cleveland Guardians and the Tampa Bay Rays on August 12, 2023, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Source: Getty Images
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Who is Wander Franco's wife?

The sleuths over at the Daily Mail were able to figure out the identity of Wander's other half. Her name is Rachelly Paulino, and she is currently 22 — a year younger than her husband.

Rachelly and Wander were childhood sweethearts while growing up in the city of Bani in the Dominican Republic.

They got married in 2021, and they share two sons together: one born in 2018 (named Wander Samuel Franco Jr.) and the other born in 2022.

In May 2023, Wander — who signed an 11-year, $182 million deal with the Rays in 2021 — bought a mansion in Tampa for their family of four, according to the outlet.

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Wander Franco's wife Rachelly Paulino
Source: Facebook/Nancy Aybar

Wander Franco's wife Rachelly Paulino pictured in 2016, when she was 15

A Facebook post from Wander's mom, Nancy Aybar, from back in September 2016 shows a picture of a then-15-year-old Rachelly, with Wander's mom even referring to her in the caption as her daughter-in-law already.

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"Today is the birthday of a very special person for me, she is Rachely Paulino my love, may God pour out many blessings on you, papa, and may make you a good woman and may he guide you on the right path. Congratulations, my daughter-in-law," Wander's mom wrote.

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Wander Franco was charged with sexual abuse and sexual exploitation against a minor in the Dominican Republic.

Wander is accused of taking away a 14-year-old girl from her Puerto Plata home in December 2022 and engaging in a four-month sexual relationship with her, with her mother's consent. Per the Associated Press, prosecutors say Wander paid the mother thousands of dollars to agree to the abuse.

ESPN reported that Wander has also been charged with human trafficking. The girl's mother has been charged with this as well, in addition to facing charges of sexual exploitation and money laundering.

Dominican Republic prosecutors had initially accused Wander of commercial sexual exploitation and money laundering as well, though a judge decided to accuse him of the lesser charge of sexual and psychological abuse.

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Major League Baseball released a statement on July 10, a day after news broke that Wander — who has also been linked to a second underage relationship in the DR — had been formally charged.

"We are aware of the charges against Mr. Franco. Our investigation remains open, and we will continue to closely monitor the case as it moves forward," the MLB's statement read.

According to ABC News report from July 10, Wander is no longer on administrate leave but has instead been placed on the restricted list, where he will no longer be paid.

His administrative leave agreement had included a provision stating that it would end should he be charged. His team then requested that he be put on the restricted list for failure to report to the team — since he cannot leave the Dominican Republic and therefore cannot appear at games — which was granted.

Wander will be tried in Puerto Plata.

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