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Cristiano Ronaldo Won't Face Rape Charge in Las Vegas But Lawsuit Pending in Federal Court

A new investigation by Las Vegas police failed to show that the woman's claim of rape at the hands of Cristiano Ronaldo could be proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

Associated Press

Updated:July 24, 2019, 3:53 PM IST
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Cristiano Ronaldo Won't Face Rape Charge in Las Vegas But Lawsuit Pending in Federal Court
File photo of Cristiano Ronaldo. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
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Las Vegas: Cristiano Ronaldo won't face criminal charges after a woman accused the football star of raping her in his suite at a Las Vegas resort more than 10 years ago, a top prosecutor said Monday.

A new investigation by Las Vegas police failed to show that the woman's claim could be proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said.

"Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming," Wolfson said in a statement.

The decision represented a victory on one of two legal tracks tied to the 2009 allegation against one of the most recognisable and highly paid players in sports.

In a lawsuit still pending in federal court, the woman alleges that she was pressured to sign an agreement to keep quiet in exchange for $375,000. Her lawyers want to void the deal and collect at least $200,000 more from Ronaldo.

Ronaldo's attorneys have acknowledged that the football star and the woman had consensual sex in June 2009, but they denied it was rape. Attorney Peter Christiansen was traveling Monday and wasn't immediately available to comment.

Attorneys for the accuser, a former model and schoolteacher, did not immediately respond to telephone, text and email messages.

The alleged victim's lawsuit says she met Ronaldo at a nightclub and went with him and other people to his suite at the Palms Hotel and Casino, where he assaulted her in a bedroom. Afterward, she signed a non-disclosure agreement under pressure from "fixers" trying to protect Ronaldo's reputation, her lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall, has said.

The lawsuit in US District Court in Las Vegas accuses Ronaldo or those working for him of conspiracy, defamation, breach of contract, coercion and fraud for allegedly allowing terms of the settlement to become public in European publications.

The woman's attorneys say she never wanted her name released but became worried that she would be identified after a 2017 media report apparently referred to the encounter.

Her lawyers have said in federal court documents that they were having trouble personally serving Ronaldo with legal filings. A judge has given them an October 28 deadline.

Ronaldo plays in Italy for the Turin-based football club Juventus. He played previously for Manchester United in England and Real Madrid in Spain, where he earned a then-record sum of 94 million euros, or about $130 million.

The alleged victim underwent a medical exam to collect DNA evidence shortly after she alleges Ronaldo assaulted her. Police closed their investigation in 2009 because she neither identified her attacker by name nor said where the alleged rape took place, said Wolfson, the elected prosecutor in Las Vegas.

Police have said she identified her attacker only as a European football player.

"As a result, the police were unable to ... conduct any meaningful investigation," Wolfson said Monday. "Detectives were unable to search for and impound vital forensic evidence. In addition, video evidence, showing interactions between the victim and perpetrator before and after the alleged crime, was lost."

The investigation was reopened last year at the request of the woman's attorneys, shortly before they sued Ronaldo. She spoke again with police, and authorities this year obtained a sample of Ronaldo's DNA through Italian authorities.

Police did not immediately respond Monday to messages about the case.

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