A rape claim against Cristiano Ronaldo has been dismissed by a US judge because the accuser’s counsel relied on leaked and stolen information.
Kathryn Mayorga claims she was raped by the Manchester United footballer in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.
He has never been charged as he has since denied the allegation.
However, Ronaldo and Kathryn allegedly negotiated an out-of-court settlement in 2010, but afterward, she demanded more than the $375,000 (£304,000) Ronaldo allegedly offered her.
Ms. Mayorga stated that while she consented to the settlement quickly after the alleged incident, she was unable to participate in the mediation process due to her mental anguish at the time, and she felt compelled to accept the offer.
Ms. Mayorga’s lawyer, Leslie Stovall, received “ill-gotten” information and papers that were confidential and protected before bringing her complaint, according to US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey.
The judge claimed that the lawyer harmed Mr. Ronaldo, 37, by prosecuting the case in “bad faith” by repeatedly using stolen, private materials.
Judge Dorsey accused Mr. Stovall of “abuses and egregious circumvention of the legal litigation procedure” in a 42-page judgment filed on Friday and quoted by AFP, saying that as a result, “Mayorga loses her ability to continue this action.”
Judge Dorsey explained that Mr. Stovall had used “misappropriated documents” that had been “woven into the very fabric” of the plaintiff’s case, meaning it had to be permanently dismissed.
In her ruling, she wrote: “I find that the procurement and continued use of these documents was bad faith.
“Simply disqualifying Stovall will not cure the prejudice to Ronaldo because the misappropriated documents and their confidential contents have been woven into the very fabric of [the plaintiff’s] claims.
“Harsh sanctions are merited,” the ruling stated.
In a statement released in October 2018, Ronaldo said: “I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in.”
Due to Mr Stovall’s behavior, a magistrate court recommended that the case be dismissed last year.
Cristiano Ronaldo will not face charges over the allegations, according to US authorities, since they could not be “proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Background to the rape case against Cristiano Ronaldo
Kathryn Mayorga reported an incident in 2009, according to the Clark County District Attorney’s office in Las Vegas, but she declined to say where it occurred or who the perpetrator was. As a result, investigators were unable to “perform any significant investigation.” However, at her request, the allegations were looked into again in 2018.
It came after a 2017 story in the German magazine Der Spiegel that Ms. Mayorga had signed an out-of-court settlement with Cristiano Ronaldo in 2010 in exchange for agreeing not to go public with the allegations.
The #MeToo movement, according to Ms Mayorga’s lawyer, motivated her to reopen the case.
Mr. Ronaldo has not denied that the two met in Las Vegas in 2009, but claimed that their encounter was mutual.
We do not usually name persons who claim to have been sexual assault victims, but Ms. Mayorga has given her permission for her name to be made public.