Monday 19 August 2019

Ronaldo rape case is still on, says lawyer

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo with Kathryn Mayorga in a Las Vegas nightclub in June 2009. Photo: Matrixpictures via AP
Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo with Kathryn Mayorga in a Las Vegas nightclub in June 2009. Photo: Matrixpictures via AP

Ken Ritter

A lawsuit by a Nevada woman accusing soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo of raping her in 2009 at a Las Vegas Strip resort has been moved from state to federal court in Las Vegas, her lawyer said yesterday.

"We basically just switched venues, but the claims remain," said attorney Larissa Drohobyczer, who represents former model and schoolteacher Kathryn Mayorga in the civil filings seeking money.

Ronaldo's attorney Peter Christiansen declined to comment about the change in venue or an ongoing police investigation.

Ms Mayorga's lawsuit accuses Ronaldo or those working for him of conspiracy, coercion and fraud, defamation and breach of contract for allowing details of a confidential financial settlement to become public.

Christiansen has previously acknowledged that Ronaldo met Mayorga in 2009 and maintained they had consensual sex.

Ronaldo plays in Italy for the Turin-based soccer club Juventus.

Ms Mayorga gave consent through her lawyers to make her name public.

Word of the change of venue came after the lawsuit filed in September in Nevada state court was voluntarily dismissed on May 8 by Ms Mayorga's attorneys.

Drohobyczer said Ms Mayorga had also filed identical claims in January in US District Court in Las Vegas to take advantage of federal court rules on serving foreigners with court filings.

Court records filed in April in the federal case show that Ms Mayorga's lawyers were having trouble serving Ronaldo with the documents in Europe.

Drohobyczer said last night she was still awaiting confirmation that Ronaldo had received the lawsuit, so the civil case can proceed.

Ms Mayorga underwent a medical exam to collect DNA evidence shortly after the alleged attack in June 2009.

In January, Las Vegas police requested a sample of Ronaldo's DNA through Italian authorities.

A lawyer for Ms Mayorga has acknowledged she received $375,000 (€334,000) to keep quiet about the encounter. But he said the agreement was made under pressure from "fixers" trying to protect Ronaldo's reputation.

Irish Independent

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