A U.S. judge has recommended that the civil rape case against Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo be dismissed.
The 36-year-old Portuguese was accused of sexually assaulting Kathryn Mayorga in a Las Vegas hotel back in 2009.
Ronaldo has always denied any wrongdoing and prosecutors decided not to open a criminal case back in 2019, saying allegations levelled against him could “not be proven beyond reasonable doubt”.
What has been said?
Magistrate judge Daniel Albregts has been reviewing the case before a separate judge makes a final decision and says leaked communication between Ronaldo and his legal team should not have been used by Mayorga’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall.
In his recommendation to U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey, Albregts has written: “It is recommended that Ronaldo’s motion for case terminating sanctions be granted. It is further recommended that Mayorga’s action be dismissed with prejudice.
“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.”
Response from Ronaldo’s legal team
Albregts also noted that the court made no decision that Ronaldo had committed a crime and found no evidence to suggest that his representatives intimidated Mayorga or impeded law enforcement when criminal charges were dropped and a €375,000 confidential settlement was signed off in August 2010.
Stoyall had been looking to overturn that settlement on the grounds that his client was unfit to agree such terms.
Responding to the recommendation made by Albregts, Ronaldo’s lawyer, Peter Christiansen, said: “We are pleased with the court’s detailed review of this matter and its willingness to justly apply the law to the facts and recommend dismissal of the civil case against Mr Ronaldo.”