League suspends Real Salt Lake player charged with having sex with a minor

Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune Real Salt Lake midfielder Ricardo Velazco, shown in March, is accused of having sex with a minor.

A Real Salt Lake player allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old, according to charging documents filed Thursday.  

Ricardo Velazco, 24, was charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor, a third-degree felony, in 3rd District Court. 

He had sex with the teen May 20 in Draper, according to charging documents. Velazco was 23 years old at the time, and the teenager has since turned 16. She is not identified in charging documents.

Draper police issued a warrant for Velazco’s arrest Thursday, with bond set at $15,000. As of Thursday evening, Velazco hadn’t been arrested, said Blake Nakamura, chief deputy of the Salt Lake County district attorney’s office.  

The teenager had told friends about the sexual activity, Nakamura said, and the friends reported it to law enforcement. Police don’t have evidence to suggest that the alleged sexual activity was forced. 

“With all allegations of a criminal nature, Real Salt Lake policy is to honor the judicial process while cooperating fully with both local authorities as well as the League investigation,” Real Salt Lake said in a news release Thursday evening. “Major League Soccer has now suspended Mr. Velazco from all soccer-related activity; Real Salt Lake will await the outcome of judicial proceedings prior to taking additional action.”

According to a league statement, MLS will conduct its own investigation.

Velazco appeared in nine games for RSL this season before undergoing surgery on his ankle July 13. His recovery was expected to take four months.

Velazco signed with Real Salt Lake in September 2016 after playing with the United Soccer League’s Real Monarchs for two years.