A Nevada woman who accused soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo of rape had her civil lawsuit dismissed by a Las Vegas judge Friday in part as punishment for her attorney’s alleged conduct.
The woman, Kathryn Mayorga, had tried to sue for damages after she claimed the footballer raped her in Las Vegas in 2009.
US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey on Friday made the decision to drop the case after finding that the woman’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, had used “stolen” confidential documents that irretrievably spoiled the case.
The Manchester United player has never denied he slept with the woman, always claiming it was consensual sex and that a non-disclosure agreement currently in place means the couple cannot speak about it publicly.
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In a 42-page order, Judge Dorsey stated that dismissing a case outright without an opportunity to bring it back to court was a severe sanction, but she felt there was no other option given Cristiano’s reputation was being damaged behavior of the lawyer was badly damaged.
In her decision, she wrote: “I find that the obtaining and continued use of these documents was in bad faith and simply disqualifying Stovall will not eliminate prejudice against Ronaldo as the misappropriated documents and their confidential contents are woven into the fabric of became (Plaintiff Kathryn) Mayorga’s claims.
“Tough sanctions are deserved.”
Although the case was dismissed, attorney Leslie Stovall can appeal the decision to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco for a reconsideration.
Kathryn waived the right to anonymity and consented to having her identity shared publicly throughout the trial.
In 2019, US prosecutors had concluded that Ronaldo would not face charges, nine years after the two agreed to an out-of-court settlement.
Despite that settlement, Kathryn attempted to reopen the case in 2018, with her attorney claiming that the #metoo movement inspired her to speak out against sexual violence.
According to the complaint, Ronaldo allegedly raped Ms Mayorga, an American, while vacationing in Las Vegas in 2009, just weeks before his move from United to Real Madrid.
He has always vigorously refuted these claims.
The couple reportedly met on June 12, 2009 at the now-closed Rain nightclub, and they were even photographed by paparazzi later that same evening.
According to Kathryn’s account of what happened, she claimed she was invited to Ronaldo’s suite at the Palms Place Hotel, where he subsequently raped her.
A day after the incident, she reported the alleged attack to police but refused to reveal her name or the name of her attacker, only that it had taken place.
After seeking advice from a lawyer, Kathryn began civil proceedings against the footballer.
It was only after the allegations were published in the German newspaper Der Spiegel in 2017 that the news broke, with the newspaper revealing several leaked documents from the case.
A leaked document claims Ronaldo said during sex that “she said no several times and stopped.”
The football ace is also said to have apologized profusely afterwards, but his lawyers have denied this, insisting the document was “entirely fake”.
In September 2018, the player released a statement to publicly deny the allegations: “I strongly deny the allegations made against me.
“Rape is a heinous crime that goes against everything I am and believe in. As much as I’m interested in clearing my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people trying to promote themselves at my expense.”
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