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RSL player charged with unlawful sex with 15-year-old

DRAPER — A Real Salt Lake player was charged Thursday with unlawful sex with a minor.

Ricardo Velazco, 24, is charged in 3rd District Court with the third-degree felony for a May 20 incident involving a 15-year-old girl, according to charging documents. Velazco was 23 at the time.

No other details about the alleged crime were immediately available.

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Major League Soccer said Velazco has been suspended from "all soccer-related activity" in light of the charge, adding that both MLS and RSL will cooperate with authorities and conduct their own investigation.

The team also issued a statement saying Velazco has been suspended. "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.

"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."

Velazco's attorney, Greg Skordas, said the case stems from a report filed with police in Draper.

"Ricardo did give a statement to the police early on, has tried to be cooperative," Skordas said.

Skordas said Velazco has also been cooperative with his attorneys and is expected to surrender to be booked into the Salt Lake County Jail and post bail on Friday.

Regarding the charge filed, Skordas noted that it relates to the relative age of an alleged victim and a defendant, not based on a lack of consent or issues of coercion or force.

No court hearings have been scheduled in the case, Skordas said. He did not comment further on the allegation as he awaits information from prosecutors.

Velazco, of Casa Grande, Arizona, signed with RSL on Sept. 6, 2016, after two seasons with the Real Monarchs, according to the team's website. He is the first player to advance from the team's Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy to the Monarchs roster and then on to RSL, the site says.