Saturday, October 1, 2022

Nevada judge almost makes Cristiano Ronaldo rape case report public

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Nevada judge almost makes Cristiano Ronaldo rape case report public

A Las Vegas police report created a decade after a woman filed a rape allegation against worldwide soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 nearly went public on Tuesday, but a Nevada judge halted the release.

At least temporarily, Judge Jasmin Lilly-Spells of the Clark County District Court decided to comply with a federal court order shielding from public view the results of the police investigation, a confidentiality agreement with the alleged rape victim, and allegedly stolen records of attorney-client conversations between Ronaldo and his attorneys.

“The court is ordering that the temporary seal remain,” Lilly-Spells said, inviting written arguments by Sept. 6 from attorneys for Ronaldo, the woman, Kathryn Mayorga, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper.

According to police and prosecutors, the criminal investigation into Mayorga’s June 2009 encounter was terminated because she did not identify her claimed attacker by name nor the location of the occurrence.

Police restarted the inquiry into the rape after Mayorga sued Ronaldo in 2018. However, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson declined to pursue criminal charges, citing insufficient time to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury.

Tuesday, the judge denied the Las Vegas police department’s request for a ruling on whether Ronaldo could sue the department for damages if the data were disclosed. The documents were not included in the court’s official record.

As part of her finding, Lilly-Spells declared moot a number of other pending matters, including an interim order keeping the contested documents sealed awaiting a hearing. As the discussions continued into the afternoon, the court admitted and fixed the error.

After Mayorga and her attorneys lost a U.S. District Court action contesting the legality of a hush-money confidentiality agreement that paid Mayorga $375,000 in 2010, it remains to be determined if the documents should be published under Nevada state public records legislation.

The Associated Press does not often identify individuals who claim to be victims of sexual assault, but Mayorga obtained permission through her attorneys to be identified in news publications.

The New York Times initiated the fight in federal court, while the Review-Journal continued the fight in state court. Margaret McLetchie has represented both newspapers as an attorney.

Ronaldo’s attorneys, lead by Peter Christiansen and Kendelee Works, have fought for four years to prevent the records from being made public.

Leslie Mark Stovall, Mayorga’s attorney, has attempted to release them by attaching them to court filings, but Ronaldo’s attorneys have taken swift legal action to keep them sealed.

In June, U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey rejected Mayorga’s civil claim, which had been transferred to federal court in 2019 after Stovall sought at least $25 million in additional damages from Ronaldo, plus legal fees.

Stovall has filed an appeal with the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco against Dorsey’s dismissal of the case.

Ronaldo or his friends violated the confidentiality agreement, according to Mayorga’s attorneys, before Der Spiegel published an article in April 2017 headlined “Cristiano Ronaldo’s Secret” based on materials received from “whistleblower portal Football Leaks,” according to court records.

Ronaldo’s attorneys contend that the “Football Leaks” documents and the confidentiality agreement are the result of privileged attorney-client communications, and there is no assurance that they are genuine.

In addition, they are requesting that Dorsey order Stovall to pay over $626,000 in court costs and fees to penalize him for what Dorsey, in a blistering opinion, termed “bad-faith conduct” by a court officer and the inappropriate use of leaked and stolen materials to prosecute Mayorga’s case.

“The fact that he wasn’t the original thief adds no element of innocence to his calculated expropriation of documents from a third party without concern for their obviously privileged and confidential nature or the suspicious circumstances surrounding them,” the judge wrote.

Former model and educator Mayorga resides in the Las Vegas region. According to her claim, she met Ronaldo at a nightclub and accompanied him to his hotel suite, where he allegedly raped her in a bedroom. She was 25 years old. He was 24.

Ronaldo’s legal team does not dispute that Ronaldo met Mayorga and had sexual relations with her in June 2009, but insists that the encounter was voluntary.

Now 37 years old, Ronaldo is one of the highest-paid and most recognizable athletes in the world. He plays for  Manchester United in the English Premier League and has captained his native Portugal’s national side. In recent years, he played for Juventus, an Italian team situated in Turin.

Nevada judge almost makes Cristiano Ronaldo rape case report public

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