US Judge Advises Dismissing Rape Accuser's Lawsuit Against Ronaldo - Report
The accuser claims the incident occurred in 2009, when she followed the football star into his hotel room. At the time, the woman was allegedly paid money for keeping it a secret, but now she wants extra money from Ronaldo, claiming that he or his associates broke the confidentiality agreement by allowing reports about it to emerge.
US Magistrate Judge Daniel Albregt in Nevada has recommended dismissing the case against Cristiano Ronaldo, in which the accuser, Kathryn Mayorga, claimed that the international soccer star raped her in Las Vegas in 2009, The Associated Press reported on Thursday.
The judge reportedly blamed Mayorga's attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, for inappropriately basing the civil damages lawsuit on leaked and stolen documents revealed to be privileged communications between Ronaldo and his lawyers in a recommendation to the judge hearing the case on Wednesday.
"Dismissing Mayorga’s case for the inappropriate conduct of her attorney is a harsh result," Albregt's report to District Judge Jennifer Dorsey is quoted by the outlet. "But it is, unfortunately, the only appropriate sanction to ensure the integrity of the judicial process. [...] Stovall has acted in bad faith to his client’s — and his profession’s — detriment."
Dorsey's decision on the recommendation was not immediately made, according to AP.
However, Ronaldo's lawyer in Las Vegas, Peter Christiansen, reportedly said in a statement that his client was "pleased with the court’s detailed review ... and its willingness to justly apply the law to the facts and recommend dismissal of the civil case against Mr. Ronaldo."
When Mayorga withdrew the criminal charges she initially brought
against the football star and settled the $375,000 confidential agreement in August 2010, Albregts reportedly observed in his statement that the court did not believe Ronaldo committed a crime and found no evidence his attorneys and representatives "intimidated Mayorga or impeded law enforcement."
Kathryn Mayorga's Case Derives From Leaked Docs
According to the rape lawsuit, then 25-year-old Mayorga met Ronaldo at a nightclub in June 2009 and went to his hotel suite with him and other people, where she claims the 24-year-old footballer abused her in a bedroom. Mayorga reported the incident to Las Vegas police, but the investigation was discontinued at the time because Mayorga did not name her attacker or say where the assault occurred, according to law enforcement officials
Because too much time had passed and evidence failed to indicate
that Mayorga's accusation could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial, the prosecutor opted not to press criminal charges based on a new investigation by Las Vegas police in 2018. However, only after Der Spiegel published an article in 2017 based on information obtained from "whistleblower portal Football Leaks," the alleged financial settlement became public
"The article makes it clear that these documents included privileged communications ... between Ronaldo’s European and US attorneys about the settlement," Albregts wrote, adding that Mayorga's lawyer "acted in bad faith by asking for, receiving, and using the Football Leaks documents to prosecute Mayorga’s case."
Moreover, Albregts advised Judge Dorsey to dismiss
Stovall's assertion that Mayorga lacked the mental capacity to sign the 2010 confidentiality agreement because she had learning issues as a youngster and was coerced by Ronaldo's lawyers.
"Mayorga's case against Ronaldo would probably not exist had Stovall not asked for the Football Leaks documents," Albregts noted. "There is no possible way for this case to proceed where the court cannot tell what arguments and testimony are based on these privileged documents."