Police in Las Vegas, Nevada have issued a warrant to obtain DNA samples from soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo in connection to their ongoing investigation of an alleged 2009 rape.
Kathryn Mayorga filed a lawsuit in October accusing the soccer star of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel room that year, prompting authorities in the area to reopen their investigation into the claim. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has since issued a warrant to authorities in Italy requesting samples of Ronaldo’s DNA, according to a police statement obtained by Oxygen.com. Authorities plan to find out whether the Juventus forward’s DNA matches trace amounts that were found on Mayorga's dress, ESPN reports.
“The LVMPD is taking the same steps in this case as in any other sexual assault to facilitate the collection of DNA evidence,” Las Vegas police told Oxygen.com.
Ronaldo’s lawyer, Peter S. Christiansen, maintained his client’s innocence and denied that the encounter between Ronaldo and Mayorga was non-consensual in a statement issued to ESPN.
“Mr. Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in Las Vegas in 2009 was consensual in nature, so it is not surprising that DNA would be present, nor that the police would make this very standard request as part of their investigation,” he said.
Ronaldo, a Portugese national, began playing for Juventus in Italy's Serie A this season after spending the previous nine years at Real Madrid, where he became arguably the greatest player in the world. Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said Friday that Ronaldo is “calm,” despite the ongoing investigation, NBC News reports.
When asked if the investigation might affect Ronaldo’s performance as an athlete, he responded, “I see Cristiano very serene and calm and that’s what I’m basing this on,” according to the outlet.
“For the rest of it, it’s not my job to respond because they are private matters and it’s only right that I don’t respond,” he said.
Mayorga, 35, claimed in October that she and Ronaldo met at a nightclub on June 13 and the 33-year-old athlete raped her in a hotel room later that night, CNN reports. Mayorga said that she told Ronaldo to stop and said no repeatedly during the assault, and that he admitted as much to his representatives later, and again when he apologized to her, “stating he was sorry, he was usually a gentleman,” according to a lawsuit obtained by CNN.
Mayorga received a $375,000 settlement in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement, which her suit seeks to void, according to CNN. She is also seeking general, special and punitive damages, in addition to interest, attorney fees and court costs, ESPN reports.
Amid news of Mayorga’s lawsuit and the renewed police interest last year, Ronaldo took to social media to “firmly” deny the accusations against him and describe rape as an “abominable crime.”
“I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me,” Ronaldo wrote on Twitter. “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.”
“My clear conscience will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations,” he wrote in a second tweet.
Ronaldo previously denied the accusations when they were first reported in Der Spiegel, a German newspaper, in 2017, with his lawyer calling the report “blatantly illegal,” according to CNN.
English model and reality TV star Jasmine Lennard claimed on Twitter earlier this week to have been in a relationship with Ronaldo and accused him of being verbally and physically abusive toward her, alleging that he once threatened to have her kidnapped and “cut up” if she dated anyone else, Yahoo Sports reports. Ronaldo denied ever meeting Lennard or dating her through a statement issued by his lawyer and obtained by the outlet. Lennard’s Twitter account has since been deleted.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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