US soccer club defends decision to offer contract to player who served jail time for sex with minor

    FC Arizona defended its decision to offer Ricardo Velazco a contract.

    (CNN)A US soccer club is defending its decision to reward a footballer with a new contract, despite the player serving 45 days in jail for having sex with an underage girl.

    Ricardo Velazco was 23 at the time of the incident in May 2017, while the girl was 15-years-old.
    Velazco was originally charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor, but pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of sexual battery, his lawyer Greg Skordas confirmed to CNN.
      On February 7, FC Arizona tweeted that the club had signed Velazco to a contract, saying in part: "Team management believes in Clean slates and sincere 2nd Chances."
      Velazco was playing for Real Salt Lake in MLS when the crime occurred and was subsequently suspended by both his club and the league.
      The 25-year-old American never again played for Real Salt Lake -- or any other MLS club -- after charges were filed, but he did sign a contract with a club in El Salvador while the court case was ongoing.