The district attorney in Las Vegas announced Monday that it would not prosecute an allegation of sexual assault made against the soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the district attorney’s office in Clark County, Nev., which contains Las Vegas, said in a statement.
@LasVegasDA Declines to Prosecute 10-year-old Sexual Assault Allegation Against Cristiano Ronaldo. @ClarkCountyNV pic.twitter.com/XXdc8D9Plk
The assault was said to have occurred in a Las Vegas hotel room in June 2009, around the time Ronaldo, a Portuguese wing, was completing a transfer to Real Madrid from Manchester United. (Ronaldo currently plays for the Italian champion Juventus.)
The woman who accused Ronaldo of assaulting her, Kathryn Mayorga, went to the police shortly after the incident but declined to tell investigators either the identity of her attacker or the site of the assault. The district attorney said Monday that her reluctance had made it difficult for the Las Vegas police to “conduct any meaningful investigation” at the time, and the case was closed. The next year, the district attorney’s statement noted, Mayorga reached a civil settlement with Ronaldo.
The case first attracted limited public attention in 2017, when the German magazine Der Spiegel reported on the sexual assault allegation and the $375,000 settlement paid to Mayorga. Last year, Der Spiegel obtained a number of documents from the whistleblower platform Football Leaks that it said supported Mayorga’s claims. They included the signed settlement agreement between Mayorga and Ronaldo, a sexual-assault medical examination and correspondence between lawyers representing Ronaldo.
Included in the correspondence were two questionnaires with answers submitted by Ronaldo. According to Der Spiegel, in the first version of the questionnaire Ronaldo responded that Mayorga “said no and stop several times” and that “she said that she didn’t want to, but made herself available.” Those answers are not in the second version.
In an Instagram video when the accusation resurfaced last year, Ronaldo labeled any claim of sexual assault “fake news.” His representatives have maintained that any contact between Ronaldo and Mayorga was consensual.
Der Spiegel also published an interview in which Mayorga put her name behind the accusation. In it, her lawyer said she sustained psychological trauma from the attack, and therefore was not legally able to agree to the civil settlement and associated nondisclosure agreement she signed in 2010.
Last September, at Mayorga’s request, the Las Vegas police reopened the investigation. Mayorga also sued Ronaldo in Nevada state court, though she later voluntarily dismissed that suit and instead filed one in federal court.
In her lawsuit, Mayorga contended the attack occurred in the early morning of June 13, 2009, in a suite at the Palms Place Hotel. She said she had met Ronaldo at a Las Vegas nightclub, where he invited her and others back to his suite.
The Las Vegas police investigated the reopened case for nine months, including requesting DNA evidence from Ronaldo, while Mayorga’s lawyers struggled to serve him a summons in the civil case. The investigation and legal jeopardy faced by Ronaldo led Juventus to play friendlies this summer in Asia instead of touring the United States.
Earlier this month, the Las Vegas police submitted a request for prosecution to the district attorney’s office, according to the statement. The district attorney’s office declined to elaborate on the nature of the request; the Las Vegas police didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Email Kevin Draper at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter: @kevinmdraper.
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