Los Angeles - Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo will not face any charges over an
alleged rape in Las Vegas a decade ago after US prosecutors said Monday
they did not have enough evidence to proceed.
A district attorney in the state of Nevada said it would not
prosecute the Portuguese soccer player because it "cannot be proven
beyond a reasonable doubt" that a sexual assault occurred.
Kathryn Mayorga, a former model, alleges that Ronaldo raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward reached a financial settlement with her one year after the incident.
He has always denied allegations of sexual assault, insisting their encounter was consensual.
The Clark County District Attorney's Office said it had received a
report from Mayorga - who it identified only as "V" - on June 13,
2009, reporting that she had been the victim of a sexual assault.
Police could not conduct "any meaningful investigation" at the time
because she declined to say who assaulted her or where it occurred, the
office said in a statement.
As a result, detectives were "unable to search for and impound vital
forensic evidence," and video showing Ronaldo and Mayorga together was
lost, it added.
Mayorga contacted police in August of last year to ask that the case
be reopened, at which point she named Ronaldo as the alleged assailant.
The case was reopened "in spite of the passage of over nine year," prosecutors said.
"Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the
allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven
beyond a reasonable doubt," prosecutors said. "Therefore, no charges
will be forthcoming."
Mayorga's attorney has
stated that she agreed to an out-of-court settlement to keep her name
from going public, but was later inspired to speak out by the #MeToo
movement against sexual harassment.
Mayorga has also said that her emotional trauma at the time did not
allow her to participate in the mediation process for the financial
Neither Ronaldo's nor Mayorga's lawyers responded to AFP's request for comment on the decision to end the investigation.
The player has yet to respond on social media.
In October last year, Ronaldo said he was "an exemplary person."
"I know who I am and what I did. The truth will come out," he told France Football magazine.
"And the people who criticize me and who expose my life today, who make a song and dance about it, these people will see."
The allegations have taken a toll on his life, and in particular on his family, he said.
In January, a Spanish court handed Ronaldo a suspended two-year
prison sentence for committing tax fraud while he was at Real Madrid.
This was immediately reduced to a fine of €365 000,
on top of another penalty of €3.2 million.
Ronaldo is widely considered one of the greatest footballers in the
history of the game, having won the Champions League title five times -
once with Manchester United and four times with Real Madrid.
He also led Portugal to the Euro 2016 title in France.
Ronaldo, who is based in Turin, is currently on Juventus' pre-season tour of Asia.