A Nevada woman who accused footballer Cristiano Ronaldo of rape, has had her civil lawsuit dismissed by a LasVegas judge on Friday in part as a punishment for the alleged conduct of her lawyer.
The woman, Kathryn Mayorga, had been trying to claim damages after she alleged the footballer raped her while in Las Vegas in 2009.
US District judge Jennifer Dorsey made the decision to throw the case out on Friday, after the woman’s lawyer Leslie Mark Stovall was found by her to have used “purloined” confidential documents, which had tainted the case beyond redemption.
The Manchester United player has never disputed that he slept with the woman, but instead has always maintained that it was consensual sex and that a confidentiality agreement currently in place means the pair cannot talk about it publicly.
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In a 42 page order, Judge Dorsey stated that dismissing a case outright with no option of bringing it back to court was a severe sanction, but she felt there was no other option as Cristiano’s reputation had been severely damaged by the conduct of the lawyer.
In her ruling, she wrote: “I find that the procurement and continued use of these documents was bad faith, and 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 (plaintiff Kathryn) Mayorga’s claims.
“Harsh sanctions are merited.”
Although the case has been thrown out, it is possible for lawyer Leslie Stovall to appeal the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and ask for it to be reconsidered.
Kathryn waived the right to anonymity and agreed for her identity to be shared publicly throughout the legal proceedings.
In 2019, US prosecutors had concluded that Ronaldo would not face any charges, nine years after the pair had agreed to an out of court settlement.
Despite this settlement Kathryn sought to re-open the case in 2018 with her lawyer claiming that the #metoo movement had inspired her to take a stand against sexual violence.
According to the complaint, Ronaldo is alleged to have raped Ms. Mayorga, an American woman, while holidaying in Las Vegas back in 2009, just weeks before his move from United to Real Madrid.
He has always strongly refuted these claims.
The pair were said to have met on June 12, 2009 at the now-closed nightclub Rain, and they were even pictured by paparazzi later that same evening.
According to Kathryn’s account of what happened, she alleged that she was invited back to Ronaldo’s suite at the Palms Place Hotel, where he subsequently raped her.
One day after the incident, she reported the alleged attack to the police, but declined to reveal her name or the name of her attacker, just that it had taken place.
After seeking counsel from a lawyer, Kathryn launched civil proceedings against the footballer.
It was only after the allegations were published in German newspaper Der Spiegel in 2017 that the news entered the public domain, with the paper revealing several leaked documents from the case.
A document from the leaks alleges Ronaldo said “she said no and stop several times” during sex.
The football ace is also alleged to have apologised profusely afterwards, but his legal team have denied this and insisted that the document was “completely fabricated”.
In September 2018, the player released a statement to publicly refute the allegations: “I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me.
“Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in. Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense.”
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