U.S. judge dismisses Cristiano Ronaldo rape lawsuit in Vegas

A Nevada lady has lost her bid in a U.S. court docket to power worldwide soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo to pay tens of millions of {dollars} greater than the $375,000 in hush money she acquired after claiming he raped her in Las Vegas in 2009.

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

File picture of Cristiano Ronaldo

David Ramos/Getty Images

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 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,” the ruling mentioned. “Harsh sanctions are merited.”

Stovall didn’t instantly reply Saturday to phone and e-mail messages. Text messages to affiliate Larissa Drohobyczer weren’t answered. They may enchantment the choice to the ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

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

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

Dorsey had signaled earlier this year 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 reviews 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 Football Leaks.”

Ronaldo’s authorized workforce blamed the reviews on digital information 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 for the reason that case emerged in 2018 to stop the pact from disclosure.

Mayorga is a former mannequin and instructor who lives in the Las Vegas space. Her lawsuit mentioned she met Ronaldo at a nightclub and went with him and different individuals 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 workforce 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 title nor mentioned the place the incident befell, police and prosecutors mentioned.

Ronaldo, now 37, is without doubt one of the most extremely paid and recognizable sports activities stars in the world. He performs for the English Premier League membership Manchester United and has captained the nationwide workforce of his dwelling nation, Portugal. He spent a number of latest years taking part in 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 Attorney Steve Wolfson determined in 2019 to not pursue legal 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 might be proved to a jury past an affordable doubt.

Stovall maintained that Mayorga did not 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 year, 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 legal criticism and accepting the $375,000 in August 2010.

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

“There is no possible way for this case to proceed where the court cannot tell what arguments and testimony are based on these privileged documents,” Albregts mentioned in an October 2021 report back to Dorsey.

Stovall “acted in bad faith by asking for, receiving, and using the Football Leaks documents 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 way of authorized maneuvers and the court docket file and beneficial 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 year that it could be as much as Dorsey to determine that question.

It was not instantly clear in Dorsey’s ruling whether or not the general public would possibly nonetheless get a take 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 Times entry to what police collected “would almost certainly raise the ‘specter of government censorship.'” He beneficial that Dorsey switch to a state court docket the newspaper’s open-records request for paperwork.

A protecting order that Dorsey imposed to stop the discharge of the 2010 settlement does not apply to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Albregts discovered, and “does not bar LVMPD from disseminating its criminal investigative file.”

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

In the U.S., assist is accessible for survivors of sexual violence and their households. RAINN affords resources at 1-800-656-HOPE and on their web site,

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