Wednesday, September 28, 2022

US judge dismisses Cristiano Ronaldo rape trial in Vegas

LAS VEGAS ( Associated Press) – A Nevada woman has filed her case in US court to force international football star Cristiano Ronaldo to pay millions of dollars over the $375,000 she received after claiming she raped her in Las Vegas in 2009. Bid lost.

US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey in Las Vegas on Friday ordered the case to punish the woman’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, for “trust conduct” and the use of leaked and stolen documents detailing attorney-client discussions between Ronaldo and them. was thrown out of court. Advocate. Dorsey said the case tainted beyond redemption.

Dorsey, in his 42-page order, said an outright dismissal without an option to refile a case is a serious sanction, but said Ronaldo was harmed by Stovall’s conduct.

“I think that the purchase and continued use of these documents was bad faith, and merely disqualifying Stovall would not treat Ronaldo’s prejudice because the false documents and his confidential material were at the fabric of (Plaintiff Catherine) Mayorga’s claims. woven in,” the ruling said. “Strict sanctions deserve.”

Stovall did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages on Saturday. Text messages associating Larissa Drohobyczer were not answered. They can appeal the decision at the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Ronaldo’s lawyer, Peter Christiansen, was traveling in Las Vegas and was not immediately available for comment.

The Associated Press doesn’t typically name people it says have been victims of sexual assault, but Mayorga agreed to make their names public through Stovall and Drohobeiser.

Dorsey indicated earlier this year that she was ready to end the case after Stall failed to meet a procedural deadline in her bid for more than $25 million in damages based on allegations. based on allegations that Ronaldo or his associates violated a 2010 confidentiality agreement by reporting it. Appear in European publications in 2017.

Mayorga’s civil suit – filed in state court in 2018 and moved to federal court in 2019 – alleges that Ronaldo or his associates used German news outlet Der Spiegel to publish an article titled “The Secret of Cristiano Ronaldo”. had previously violated the confidentiality agreement. Whistleblower Portal Football Leaks.”

Ronaldo’s legal team blamed the report on electronic data leaks of hacked documents from law firms and other entities in Europe and reports put up for sale. Christiansen also alleged that the information was tampered with or fabricated.

Christiansen and attorney Kendeley Works in Las Vegas have successfully fought since the case surfaced in 2018 to block the settlement from disclosure.

Mayorga is a former model and teacher who lives in the Las Vegas area. Her lawsuit states that she met Ronaldo at a nightclub and accompanied him and others to his hotel room, where she alleged that he assaulted her in a bedroom. She was 25 years old at that time. He was 24 years old.

Ronaldo’s legal team does not dispute that Ronaldo met Mayorga and had sex in June 2009, but said it was consensual and not rape.

Police and prosecutors said Mayorga went to Las Vegas police at the time, but the investigation was dropped because Mayorga did not identify her alleged attacker or where the incident took place.

Ronaldo, now 37 years old, is one of the highest paid and recognizable sports stars in the world. He plays for English Premier League club Manchester United and has captained the national team of his home country Portugal. He spent several recent years playing for Juventus, a club based in Turin in Italy.

Las Vegas police reopened their rape investigation after Mayorga’s lawsuit was filed, but Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson decided not to pursue criminal charges in 2019.

Wolfson, the elected public prosecutor in Las Vegas, said too much time had passed and the evidence failed to show that Mayorga’s charge could prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

Stovall said Mayorga did not break the hush-money agreement. Her lawsuit sought to quash it, accusing Ronaldo and the reputation-preserving “fixers” of conspiracy, defamation, breach of contract, coercion and fraud. In documents filed last year, Stovall set out damages over $25 million in attorney’s fees.

The lawyer argued that Mayorga had a childhood learning disability and that Ronaldo’s lawyers and representatives had put so much pressure on her that she was not in a position to agree to drop her criminal complaint and accept $375,000 in August 2010.

Dorsey followed the recommendations of US Magistrate Judge Daniel Albregetts, who handled preliminary and procedural rulings in the case, that it was dismissed for bad faith, “improper conduct” by Stovall and reliance on leaked and stolen confidential documents. .

“There is no possible way for this case to proceed where the court cannot explain what arguments and testimony are based on these privileged documents,” Albregatz told Dorsey in an October 2021 report.

“Stovall acted in bad faith by asking for, obtaining and using football leaked documents to prosecute Mayorga’s case,” Albreguets wrote. He blamed Stovall for “audacious,” “unqualified” and “outrageous” attempts to make the confidentiality agreement public through legal maneuvers and court records, and recommended Dorsey to dismiss Stovall’s claim that Mayorga lacked the mental ability to sign the 2010 deal.

The 9th Circuit ruled earlier this year that it would be up to Dorsey to decide that question.

It was not immediately clear in Dorsey’s ruling whether the public could still glance at the Las Vegas police report compiled about Ronaldo after Mayorga filed her lawsuit in 2018.

Albregues said in March that denying The New York Times access to what police had gathered would “certainly raise the ‘ghost of government censorship’.” He recommended that Dorsey be transferred to a state court, which makes the newspaper’s open-record request for documents.

A protective order that Dorsey imposed to prevent the 2010 settlement from being issued does not apply to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Albreguets found, and “does not prevent LVMPD from transmitting its criminal investigation file. “

Attorney Margaret MacLachey, representing the newspaper, did not immediately respond to a message about that case on Saturday.

Nation World News Desk
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