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Former MLB pitcher arrested in child sex sting operation

A former MLB pitcher was arrested in Florida in a sting operation targeting people attempting to have sex with children.

Austin Maddox, 33, was among 27 suspects nabbed by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Maddox “traveled with the intent of engaging in sexual activity with a 14-year-old child,” Sheriff T.K. Waters said at a press conference.

An attorney for Maddox, James Hill, said his client intends to fight the charges and will plead not guilty when he appears in court.

Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price, left, sits with relief pitcher Austin Maddox in the bullpen during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Price was activated from the disabled list prior to the game and expected to work as a relief pitcher. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price, left, sits with relief pitcher Austin Maddox in the bullpen during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park in Boston on Sept. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Police said Maddox was using an escort service website when he messaged an undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old girl, the Florida Times-Union reported. Maddox continued the conversation even after the “girl” said she was 14 years old, asking her to send him nude photos, according to police.

On April 28, Maddox traveled to meet the girl at a pre-arranged location, where he was tackled by several law enforcement officers, cops said.

He remained in jail Tuesday on four charges, including soliciting a child for sex, according to the Times-Union. His bail was set at $300,000.

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Austin Maddox during the sixth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Boston Red Sox pitcher Austin Maddox during the sixth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, on Sept. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Maddox was born in Jacksonville and starred in college at the University of Florida. The Gators made the College World Series in all three of Maddox’s seasons with the team, from 2010 to 2012.

The Red Sox selected Maddox in the third round of the 2012 MLB Draft, and he finally appeared in the majors in 13 games as a reliever in 2017. Maddox pitched to a 0.52 ERA in 17.1 innings, but he suffered a shoulder injury and was sent down the minors. He was never called back up to the big leagues, and the team released him in 2019.

With News Wire Services

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