Ronaldo Palms Rape Claim Heads to Appeals Court
Posted on: August 23, 2022, 06:44h.
Last updated on: August 24, 2022, 01:50h.
A Las Vegas woman who claims she was raped by soccer icon Cristiano Ronaldo at his Palms Casino penthouse in 2009 is appealing a judge’s decision to dismiss the case.
US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey tossed the civil lawsuit in June. She determined the accuser’s attorney, Leslie Stoval, had based much of his case on privileged conversations between the star and his lawyer, which were inadmissible.
These documents were allegedly stolen by the hacktivist Football Leakswebsite and published in October 2018 by German news magazine Der Spiegel.
Dorsey said Stoval had acted in “bad faith” by relying on the documents, which was a “flagrant circumvention of the proper litigation process,” in which conversations between attorneys and their clients must remain confidential.
Appellant Kathryn Mayorga’s legal team is scheduled to submit an opening brief by October 18, according to a filing to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Ronaldo’s answering brief is due a month after that.
Mayorga sued Ronaldo in 2018, alleging he raped her at the Palms on the night of July 12, 2009. She reported the alleged assault to Las Vegas Metro Police the next day. But she did not pursue the claim because she “feared public humiliation and retaliation,” according to the original lawsuit.
A medical examination showed she was suffering from anal swelling with abrasions and lacerations. Ronaldo denies rape and claims that the relations between them were consensual.
In 2010, Mayorga accepted a $375,000 payoff from Ronaldo as part of a non-disclosure agreement. In return, she agreed to drop her claims against the footballer.
But she resurrected the case in the wake of the emergence of the Football Leaks documents. These were transcripts of conversations between an individual purported to be Ronaldo and his lawyer, in which the individual appears to admit that the sex was non-consensual.
The conversations appear to corroborate parts of Mayorga’s account of the alleged incident at the Palms. Ronaldo’s legal team says the documents were stolen by hackers and falsified.
Battle for Police Files
In her original lawsuit, Mayorga says she was coerced into signing the NDA at a time when she was mentally incapacitated. She claims she has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in the intervening years.
Las Vegas Metro Police also resurrected the case in 2018. But it was closed a year later. Investigators said the allegations could “not be proved beyond reasonable doubt.”
The New York Times is embroiled in legal action with Las Vegas police. It wants them to hand over its investigative files from the case, which it says they are legally obligated to do under the Nevada Public Records Act.
Mayorga, 36, is seeking $25 million for “past pain and suffering,” $25 million for “future pain and suffering,” and $25 million in punitive damages. That’s just under three years’ salary for the 37-year-old Manchester United player.
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