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Soccer star Ronaldo won’t face sex assault charges in Las Vegas

The Clark County district attorney’s office announced Monday that it will not pursue criminal charges against international soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, who is accused of raping a woman in 2009 inside a penthouse suite at the Palms.

“Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the office said in a statement.

The request for prosecution was submitted to the district attorney’s office earlier this month following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department. Investigators had reopened the case after Kathryn Mayorga identified Ronaldo as her attacker to police for the first time in August 2018.

About a month later, a lawsuit accusing Ronaldo of obstructing the criminal investigation into the sexual assault allegations was filed in Clark County District Court on Mayorga’s behalf. That lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed in May but later refiled in federal court.

The federal case remained active as of Monday, records show.

Ronaldo has denied all accusations made against him by Mayorga, taking to Twitter in early October to state, in part, “I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in.”

That same day, Mayorga’s attorney, Leslie Stovall, hosted a press conference in Las Vegas, saying that “the Me Too movement and the women who have stood up and disclosed sexual assault publicly have given Kathryn a lot of courage.”

Neither Stovall nor Ronaldo’s attorney, Peter Christiansen, could be reached for comment on Monday.

In explaining the decision not to prosecute, the district attorney’s office said that Mayorga “refused to identify (Ronaldo) or disclose where the crime occurred” at the time of the attack, and that as a result, Las Vegas police “were unable to follow investigative protocols for sexual assault cases or to conduct any meaningful investigation.”

Mayorga has said that at the time, she refused to provide a name out of fear of public humiliation and retaliation but did identify her attacker to police as “a famous soccer player.”

“Without knowing the identity of the perpetrator or the location of the crime, detectives were unable to search for and impound vital forensic evidence,” the district attorney’s office said Monday. “In addition, video evidence, showing interactions between the victim and perpetrator before and after the alleged crime, was lost.”

Metro’s criminal investigation was then closed, and remained so for nearly a decade. By 2010, Mayorga and Ronaldo had reached an out-of-court civil settlement, which Mayorga alleges was the result of Ronaldo and “his team” threatening to publicly accuse her of trying “to obtain money” from the soccer player.

According to the identical lawsuits against Ronaldo, the two had first met June 12, 2009, at a nightclub inside the Palms. The rape, during which Mayorga has said she repeatedly told the soccer player “no,” allegedly happened the following night in Ronaldo’s penthouse suite.

Afterward Ronaldo apologized, saying that “he was usually a gentleman,” the lawsuit stated.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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