The federal civil case alleging that Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo raped a woman in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009 was dropped on Friday.
Judge Jennifer Dorsey accepted a federal magistrate’s recommendation, saying an attorney for prosecutor Kathryn Mayorga had committed misconduct so serious that it would be impossible for Ronaldo to get a fair trial.
“Due to the abuse of her attorney and blatant circumvention of due process, Mayorga is losing her opportunity to pursue this case and attempt to settle claims which in themselves involve serious allegations of a very personal nature,” Dorsey wrote. .
The case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning Mayorga cannot resubmit the complaint.
Mayorga said she was forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement and $375,000 settlement following the alleged rape, which Ronaldo claimed was a consensual sexual encounter. Mayorga had asked the judge to annul that agreement.
The existence of the settlement was first reported by the German newspaper Der Spiegel in 2017 using leaked confidential communications from Ronaldo’s lawyers.
The court found that one of Mayorga’s lawyers, Leslie Stovall, had contacted the source of that leak to request those documents, including “the reporting and communication of the lawyers and investigators representing and defending Ronaldo after the sexual assault through the negotiations and the finalization of the settlement and nondisclosure agreement.”
“Stovall’s repeated use of stolen privileged documents to prosecute this case has every indication of bad faith,” Judge Dorsey wrote Friday.
The judge ruled that “the misappropriated documents and their confidential content are intertwined with Mayorga’s allegations,” stating that simply removing the leaked documents from the case and disqualifying Stovall would not adequately address the wrongdoing.
DailyExpertNews has reached out to Stovall for comment on the decision.
Ronaldo’s attorney, Peter Christiansen, said in an email to DailyExpertNews on Saturday: “Since the plaintiff first filed suit in 2018, we have maintained that the action was filed in bad faith. Plaintiff’s outright dismissal would anyone following this case should give newfound confidence in the judicial process in this country, while those who want to undermine this case are discouraged.”
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reopened a criminal investigation at Mayorga’s request in August 2018. In July 2019, the Clark County District Attorney’s Office announced that they would not pursue criminal charges, as the charges could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.