Tuesday 27 September 2016

US swimmer Ryan Lochte indicted for false reporting of a crime

Andrew Buncombe

Published 18/08/2016 | 15:30

American Olympic swimmers Gunnar Bentz, center, and Jack Conger, right, leave the police station at Rio International airport. AP
American Olympic swimmers Gunnar Bentz, center, and Jack Conger, right, leave the police station at Rio International airport. AP

Brazilian police have recommended that prosecutors bring charges against U.S. Olympic gold medallist swimmers Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen for falsely reporting a crime, GloboNews television reported on Thursday.

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The civil police chief of Rio de Janeiro, Fernando Veloso, had earlier told a news conference that Lochte and Feigen had lied about being robbed at gunpoint on Sunday morning along with two team mates.

The charge does not carry any prison time, Veloso said. Lochte returned to the United States on Monday, while Feigen remains in Brazil, police say

Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte claimed on Sunday that he and three other US swimmers were robbed at about 4am in a taxi headed for the Olympic Village in Rio.

On Wednesday, a Brazilian judge ordered that Lochte, Feigen, and two other swimmers stay in the country for further questioning, while police carry out their investigation of the alleged robbery.

Prosecutors say that the swimmers were shown in a video leaving the Olympic Village laughing and smiling, exhibiting no behaviours characteristic of people who had just undergone the shock of a mugging at gunpoint.

Additionally, X-ray scan documents reviewed by investigators showed that the swimmers had their wallets – which they claimed were among the items stolen in the Saturday robbery

Lochte fabricated the robbery claim, according to a Brazilian police official who said the US Olympic swimmers were in a rowdy petrol station confrontation

And Brazilian police sources have told ABC News that the footage shows one of the men fighting with a security guard.

Lochte, who has already returned to the US, told reporters on Wednesday that the swimmers used a restroom at the fuel station and when they got back to their taxi, the driver did not move. That was when two men approached with guns and badges and told them to get out and get down, Lochte said.

It contradicts an earlier statement that they were robbed when their taxi was flagged down by men posing as police officers.

Independent News Service

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