A former Boston Red Sox pitcher was among 27 men arrested in Florida last month as part of a child sex solicitation sting.

Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said Austin Dean Maddox was one of the individuals arrested in the multi-agency operation.

“Austin Dean Maddox was arrested April 28 on four felony charges, according to inmate records: traveling to meet after using a computer to seduce/solicit/lure a child; soliciting a child by computer; unlawful use of a communication device; and producing or promoting a performance that includes sexual performance by a child,” NBC Boston reports.


NBC Boston reports:

A reliever who appeared in 15 Red Sox games in the 2017 season, Maddox was shown being tackled to the ground by law enforcement in a video released by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Monday highlighting the bust. Sheriff T.K. Waters highlighted Maddox’ case, saying he intended to have sex with a 14-year-old.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Maddox had an attorney who could speak to the charges, for which he was being held on about $300,000 bail. His next court date is Tuesday, May 28.

A total of 27 men were arrested in the bust, called Operation Valiant Knights, which involved local, state and federal law enforcement, sheriff’s officials said.

Maddox retired from baseball before the 2020 season. The Minor League Baseball website gives his nickname as “Madd Dawg.”


From the Associated Press:

James Hill, a defense attorney for Maddox, said he intends to fight the allegations against him and will enter a plea of not guilty should formal charges be filed.

Maddox, 33, began communicating with an undercover agent pretending to be an underage girl on April 28, an arrest report said. He expressed his intent to have sex with the girl even after she told him that she was 14, officials said.

Maddox agreed to meet the girl at a pre-arranged location, where he was arrested by law enforcement officers, authorities said.

He is charged with four felony counts, including traveling to meet after using a computer to solicit a child. He is being held in jail on a $300,000 bond.

Maddox played college ball for the University of Florida and was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2012. He made his major league debut with the team in 2017 after several years in the minors. He spent about three months on the Red Sox roster before heading back to the minors to recover from shoulder injuries. He was released from the team in 2019.

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