July 23 – After weeks of speculation over an incident that allegedly occurred a decade ago, US prosecutors have announced that Cristiano Ronaldo will not face criminal charges of sexual assault because the case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Kathryn Mayorga had alleged that the Portuguese superstar raped her at a Las Vegas penthouse suite in 2009 but Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson decided that her claim was not strong enough.
“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. Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming,” Wolfson said in a statement.
Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit in September 2018 accusing Ronaldo of raping her, then paying her $375,000 in hush money.
The story was broken by Der Spiegel, the German magazine, based on documents obtained via Football Leaks but Ronaldo has vehemently denied assaulting Mayorga and a statement from his lawyers last October charged that the reports were based on “stolen and easily manipulated digital documents” of which “significant parts were altered and/or completely fabricated”.
An initial investigation was closed because Mayorga would not provide enough information regarding the identity of her alleged attacker. As a result police were unable “to conduct any meaningful investigation”.
The probe was reopened last summer at the request of her lawyers when she identified Ronaldo the person who allegedly sexually assaulted her, apparently inspired by the #MeToo movement. It is not clear whether police ever obtained Ronaldo’s DNA but
The decision to throw the case out is a huge weight off the shoulders off the Juventus forward who earlier this year accepted an €18.8m fine over tax evasion charges when he played in Spain. Ronaldo had been accused of hiding image rights income of more than €150 million from the Spanish tax office between 2011-14 by using shell companies outside Spain.
Although Ronaldo will not face criminal charges in the case, Mayorga’s civil lawsuit is still pending and has reportedly been re-filed in the federal courts seeking $200 million in damages.
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