Tuesday 18 June 2019

Police ask Ronaldo for sample of DNA in rape claim probe

Denial: Cristiano Ronaldo says what happened was consensual. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Denial: Cristiano Ronaldo says what happened was consensual. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Ken Ritter

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has been asked by police in the US to provide a DNA sample in an ongoing investigation of a rape allegation.

Police in Las Vegas say investigators have asked Italian authorities to obtain the DNA sample from Ronaldo in the inquiry into the alleged rape in his Las Vegas hotel penthouse.

The department issued a statement yesterday confirming "an official request" was sent to Italy, where Ronaldo plays for a soccer club in Turin.

The police statement does not specify if a warrant was issued.

Department spokeswoman Laura Meltzer declined additional comment.

The soccer star's lawyer, Peter Christiansen, downplayed the development, denied the rape allegation and provided no additional details.

He did not immediately confirm a 'Wall Street Journal' report citing an unnamed law enforcement source saying that Las Vegas police obtained a warrant that was sent to Italy to obtain a DNA sample from the 33-year-old Ronaldo, who plays for the Turin-based club Juventus.

"Mr Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in Las Vegas in 2009 was consensual in nature, so it is not surprising that DNA would be present, nor that the police would make this very standard request as part of their investigation," Mr Christiansen said.

Las Vegas police declined to comment, said Ms Meltzer.

The police case was closed in 2009 when the alleged victim, Kathryn Mayorga, declined to name her alleged assailant.

The police investigation was reopened at Ms Mayorga's request last August, shortly before the former model and schoolteacher filed a civil lawsuit in state court claiming that Ronaldo raped her and that she had been paid $375,000 (€326,000) to keep it secret.

Ms Mayorga has given consent through her lawyers to make her name public.

Ronaldo has not been served with the lawsuit, Mr Christiansen said.

The lawsuit is ongoing and the criminal police investigation are on separate legal tracks.

Ms Mayorga's lawyers, Leslie Mark Stovall and Larissa Drohobyczer, have no information about the police probe, Ms Drohobyczer said.

Irish Independent

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