Nevada judge nearly unveils documents from Ronaldo rape case

By Ken Ritter
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas police report compiled a decade after a woman first filed a 2009 rape complaint against international soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo was mistakenly nearly released Tuesday, before a Nevada judge backs down and keeps it sealed.

Clark County District Court Judge Jasmin Lilly-Spells decided to at least temporarily follow a federal court order shielding the results of the police investigation from public view, a confidentiality agreement with the alleged victim rape and allegedly stolen recordings of attorney-client discussions between Ronaldo and his attorneys.

“The court orders that the temporary seal remain,” Lilly-Spells said, inviting submissions from lawyers for Ronaldo, wife Kathryn Mayorga, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. written by September 6.

Mayorga turned herself in to Las Vegas police after the June 2009 encounter, but the criminal investigation was dropped because she neither identified her alleged attacker by name nor said where the incident took place. product, police and prosecutors said.

Police reopened the rape investigation after Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit against Ronaldo in 2018. But Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson declined to pursue criminal charges, saying too many links had been made. elapsed to prove the case to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

On Tuesday, the judge denied a request by the Las Vegas police to decide whether the department could be sued by Ronaldo for damages if he released the records. The documents were not placed on the court’s public record.

As part of the decision, Lilly-Spells said several other outstanding items were moot – including a temporary order keeping the disputed documents sealed pending a hearing. As arguments dragged on into the afternoon, the judge acknowledged and corrected the error.

It remains to be decided whether the documents should be released under Nevada state public records law, after Mayorga and his attorneys lost a case in U.S. District Court challenging the validity of a confidentiality who paid $375,000 to Mayorga in 2010.

The Associated Press does not usually name people who claim to be victims of sexual assault. But Mayorga gave his consent through his lawyers to be named in the news.

The New York Times began a fight to publish the records in federal court, and the Review-Journal took up the fight in state court. Attorney Margaret McLetchie represented both newspapers.

Ronaldo’s lawyers, led by Peter Christiansen and Kendelee Works, fought at every turn in a four-year legal battle to prevent the documents from becoming public.

Mayorga’s lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall, sought to free them, sometimes attaching them to court documents before Ronaldo’s lawyers took swift legal action to keep them sealed.

US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey in June dismissed Mayorga’s civil lawsuit – which was transferred in 2019 to federal court, where Stovall sought at least $25 million more in damages from Ronaldo, plus costs of lawyer.

Stovall appealed Dorsey’s dismissal of the case to the 9th United States Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Mayorga’s lawyers allege Ronaldo or his associates breached the confidentiality agreement before a German news outlet, Der Spiegel, published an article in April 2017 titled ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’s Secret’ based on documents obtained from what court documents call it “Football Leaks whistleblower portal”.

Ronaldo’s lawyers claim that the ‘Football Leaks’ documents and confidentiality agreement are the product of privileged attorney-client discussions and that there is no guarantee that they are authentic.

They are also asking Dorsey to order Stovall to pay more than $626,000 in costs and court fees to punish him for what Dorsey – in a scathing comment – called “bad faith conduct” by a police officer. justice and the misuse of leaks and thefts. documents to pursue Mayorga’s case.

“The fact that he was not the original thief adds no element of innocence to his calculated expropriation of documents from a third party without regard to their patently privileged and confidential nature or the suspicious circumstances surrounding them. “, wrote the judge.

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

Ronaldo’s legal team do not dispute that Ronaldo met Mayorga and they had sex in June 2009, but maintain that it was consensual.

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