A Nevada magistrate judge has recommended Cristiano Ronaldo’s rape case be dismissed after deeming the evidence presented to be ‘based on leaked and stolen documents’.
The Man United forward was accused of sexual assault by Kathryn Mayorga, who claimed the Portuguese player raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009, shortly before he completed a world-record transfer to Real Madrid.
At the time of the assault, Mayorga hired a lawyer who advised reaching an out of court settlement with Ronaldo instead of pressing criminal charges.
Mayorga waived her anonymity in 2018 and in an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, the former school teacher and model alleged she was paid to remain silent, claiming there were documents that could be “extremely dangerous” for the striker.
Ronaldo denied the allegations and the Las Vegas police concluded Mayorga’s account of events “could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt.”
Clark County district attorney Steve Wolfson said that authorities had been unable “to conduct any meaningful investigation” as Mayora had not initially named her attacker or specified the location of the assault.
The former school teacher and model also sued Ronaldo for damages in a civil case, but magistrate judge Daniel Albregts has now sided with the footballer’s lawyers, arguing the documents were “inherently prejudicial to Ronaldo fairly presenting his defence.”
Albregts blamed Mayorga’s attorney Leslie Mark Stovall for basing the case on leaked and stolen documents that were said to be privileged communications and therefore inadmissible.
In his recommendation to the judge hearing the case, Albregts wrote:
Dismissing Mayorga’s case for the inappropriate conduct of her attorney is a harsh result. 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.
The magistrate judge also stressed the court made no decision that Ronaldo committed the alleged crime and found no evidence of Mayorga being intimidated when she finalised a confidential settlement in August 2010.
Ronaldo’s Las Vegas attorney, Peter Christiansen, issued a statement following Albregts declaration, saying he 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.”
US district judge, Jennifer Dorsey, presiding over the case, will now consider the recommendation put forward by Albregts.