US Judge Dismisses Cristiano Ronaldo Rape Lawsuit in Vegas | Sports News

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By KEN RITTER, Related Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada girl has misplaced her bid in a U.S. court docket to drive worldwide soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo to pay thousands and thousands of {dollars} greater than the $375,000 in hush cash she obtained after claiming he raped her in Las Vegas in 2009.

U.S. District Decide Jennifer Dorsey in Las Vegas kicked the case out of court docket on Friday to punish the lady’s lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall, for “bad-faith conduct” and using leaked and stolen paperwork detailing attorney-client discussions between Ronaldo and his legal professionals. Dorsey mentioned that tainted the case past redemption.

Dorsey mentioned in her 42-page order that dismissing a case outright with no choice to file it once more is a extreme sanction, however mentioned Ronaldo had been harmed by Stovall’s conduct.

“I discover that the procurement and continued use of those paperwork was dangerous religion, and easily disqualifying Stovall won’t remedy the bias to Ronaldo as a result of the misappropriated paperwork and their confidential contents have been woven into the very material of (plaintiff Kathryn) Mayorga’s claims,” the ruling mentioned. “Harsh sanctions are merited.”

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Stovall didn’t instantly reply Saturday to phone and electronic mail messages. Textual content messages to affiliate Larissa Drohobyczer weren’t answered. They may attraction the choice to the ninth U.S. Circuit Courtroom of Appeals in San Francisco.

Ronaldo’s lawyer in Las Vegas, Peter Christiansen, was touring and was not instantly reachable for remark.

The Related Press typically doesn’t identify individuals who say they’re victims of sexual assault, however Mayorga gave consent by Stovall and Drohobyczer to make her identify public.

Dorsey had signaled earlier this 12 months that she was prepared to finish the case after Stovall failed to fulfill a procedural deadline in his bid for greater than $25 million in damages primarily based on allegations that Ronaldo or his associates violated a 2010 confidentiality settlement by letting studies about it seem in European publications in 2017.

Mayorga’s civil lawsuit — filed in 2018 in state court docket and moved in 2019 to federal court docket — alleged that Ronaldo or his associates violated the confidentiality settlement earlier than the German information outlet Der Spiegel revealed an article titled “Cristiano Ronaldo’s Secret” primarily based on paperwork obtained from “whistleblower portal Soccer Leaks.”

Ronaldo’s authorized group blamed the studies on digital knowledge leaks of paperwork hacked from legislation corporations and different entities in Europe and put up on the market. Christiansen alleged additionally that data was altered or fabricated.

Christiansen and lawyer Kendelee Works in Las Vegas efficiently fought because the case emerged in 2018 to forestall the pact from disclosure.

Mayorga is a former mannequin and instructor who lives within the Las Vegas space. Her lawsuit mentioned she met Ronaldo at a nightclub and went with him and different folks to his lodge suite, the place she alleged he assaulted her in a bed room. She was 25 on the time. He was 24.

Ronaldo’s authorized group doesn’t dispute Ronaldo met Mayorga they usually had intercourse in June 2009, however maintained it was consensual and never rape.

Mayorga went to Las Vegas police on the time, however the investigation was dropped as a result of Mayorga neither recognized her alleged attacker by identify nor mentioned the place the incident befell, police and prosecutors mentioned.

Ronaldo, now 37, is likely one of the most extremely paid and recognizable sports activities stars on the earth. He performs for the English Premier League membership Manchester United and has captained the nationwide group of his residence nation, Portugal. He spent a number of latest years enjoying in Italy for the Turin-based membership Juventus.

Las Vegas police reopened their rape investigation after Mayorga’s lawsuit was filed, however Clark County District Lawyer Steve Wolfson determined in 2019 to not pursue felony fees.

Wolfson, the elected public prosecutor in Las Vegas, mentioned an excessive amount of time had handed and proof failed to indicate that Mayorga’s accusation may very well be proved to a jury past an affordable doubt.

Stovall maintained that Mayorga didn’t break the hush-money settlement. Her lawsuit sought to void it, accusing Ronaldo and reputation-protection “fixers” of conspiracy, defamation, breach of contract, coercion and fraud. In paperwork filed final 12 months, Stovall tallied damages at $25 million plus lawyer charges.

The lawyer argued that Mayorga had studying disabilities as a baby and was so pressured by Ronaldo’s attorneys and representatives that she was in no situation to consent to dropping her felony grievance and accepting the $375,000 in August 2010.

Dorsey adopted suggestions from U.S. Justice of the Peace Decide Daniel Albregts, who dealt with preliminary and procedural rulings within the case, that it’s dismissed for dangerous religion, “inappropriate conduct” by Stovall and reliance on the leaked and stolen confidential paperwork.

“There isn’t any doable manner for this case to proceed the place the court docket can not inform what arguments and testimony are primarily based on these privileged paperwork,” Albregts mentioned in an October 2021 report back to Dorsey.

Stovall “acted in dangerous religion by asking for, receiving, and utilizing the Soccer Leaks paperwork to prosecute Mayorga’s case,” Albregts wrote. He blamed Stovall for “audacious,” “impertinent” and “abusive” makes an attempt to make the confidentiality settlement public by authorized maneuvers and the court docket report and advisable to Dorsey that she reject Stovall’s declare that Mayorga lacked the psychological capability to signal the 2010 settlement.

The ninth Circuit dominated early this 12 months that it will be as much as Dorsey to determine that query.

It was not instantly clear in Dorsey’s ruling whether or not the general public may nonetheless get a have a look at the Las Vegas police report compiled about Ronaldo after Mayorga filed her lawsuit in 2018.

Albregts mentioned in March that denying the New York Occasions entry to what police collected “would nearly definitely elevate the ‘specter of presidency censorship.’” He advisable that Dorsey switch to a state court docket the newspaper’s open-records request for paperwork.

A protecting order that Dorsey imposed to forestall the discharge of the 2010 settlement doesn’t apply to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Division, Albregts discovered, and “doesn’t bar LVMPD from disseminating its felony investigative file.”

Lawyer Margaret McLetchie, representing the newspaper, didn’t instantly reply Saturday to a message about that case.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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