Who Is Rachelly Paulino? Wander Franco's Wife Identified for First Time as Childhood Sweetheart Amid Allegations of Improper Relationship with Underage Women

A second person, identified as a 17-year-old girl, also reportedly lodged a complaint against Franco in the Dominican Republic, as reported by the local publication Diario Libre.

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The identity of Wander Franco's wife has been made public for the first time as the Rays star faces allegations of having inappropriate relationships with multiple underage women. Franco, so long, had kept his mysterious wife away from the media spotlight but her name has now been revealed

The Daily Mail revealed on Friday that Franco is married to 21-year-old Rachelly Paulino, his childhood sweetheart from the Dominican Republic. The Tampa Bay Rays' shortstop, who is currently under investigation for his alleged involvement with an underage girl in the Dominican Republic, married Paulino shortly after the end of the 2021 MLB season, DailyMail.com reported.

Hiding His Wife

Rachelly Paulino
Rachelly Paulino Facebook

Franco has refrained from mentioning Paulino's name publicly although the 22-year-old baseball standout has openly expressed his pride in his firstborn son, Wander Samuel Franco Jr., born in 2018.

The couple welcomed another son in 2022. Notably, Franco recently bought a $1.55 million house with five bedrooms in a prestigious section of Tampa in May of this year, as reported by DailyMail.com.

Hailing from Bani, a city located 65 miles south of the capital Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Paulino and Franco seem to be in a relationship during their early teenage years.

Wander Franco
Wander Franco Twitter

Franco's mother, Nancy Aybar, proudly shared a photo on September 10, 2016, commemorating the 15th birthday of the young lady with a slightly altered version of her first name. Aybar also affectionately referred to her as "daughter-in-law."

"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," she wrote.

On that same day, a close friend of the teenager, Ymanolisse Mejia Garo, posted an extensive heartfelt message in Spanish, which included: "September 10, 2001, 15 years ago today Rachelly Paulino Aristy was born my love, my sister, my partner... we have been through so much in our friendship that we have reached the point of being inseparable."

Rachelly Paulino
Rachelly Paulino Twitter

Accompanying a photo of both individuals with their faces seemingly covered in white cream, she went on to say: "Wow love I still can't believe that you are finally 15 years old and that I met you when I was 11, your friendship is so valuable and important to me."

When asked about the charges against Franco, a close female relative of Paulino told the outlet that she had seen the child grow up. However, when asked about the allegations or the state of the couple's marriage, she said, "I do not have an opinion."

At a Complicated Juncture of Life

Franco, who signed a $182 million contract spanning 11 years in 2021, in a surprising turn of events, willingly agreed to be placed on the Rays' restricted list after Spanish-language posts on the social media platform X (previously known as Twitter) emerged on Saturday night and soon went viral on Sunday.

Wander Franco
Wander Franco Twitter

As a result, he was excluded from participating in the scheduled six-game road trip this week to San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The posts before apparently being deleted, alleged that Franco was involved in an improper relationship with a minor.

A second person, identified as a 17-year-old girl, also reportedly lodged a complaint against Franco in the Dominican Republic, as reported by the local publication Diario Libre.

Wander Franco
Wander Franco Twitter

Alongside MLB's involvement, the Dominican Republic's attorney general's office has also confirmed to the Associated Press that they are actively investigating the matter.

"We support any steps taken by the league to better understand the situation," the Rays said in a statement after Franco was placed on the restricted list. "Out of respect for all parties involved, we have no further comments at this time."

Recent developments have brought forth a stunning report from z101 Digital's journalist Hector Gomez, who suggested that there is a strong probability that Franco may not return to play in MLB.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Franco seemingly refuted the allegations in a video he shared on Instagram Live on Sunday.

"They say that I'm in public with a little girl, that I'm running around with a minor," Franco said in Spanish in the video. "People don't know what to do with their time. They don't know what they're talking about.

"That's why I prefer to be on my side and not get involved with anybody."