Police issue warrant for soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo's DNA over rape case
Former teacher and model Kathryn Mayorga claims that Portuguese soccer star Christiano Ronaldo raped her at his Las Vegas hotel room in June 2009, then paid her $375,000 to keep it secret. Last September, she filed a civil lawsuit and asked the police to discard the non-disclosure agreement she signed at the time of the alleged incident, when she was 25. "The reason why I signed the contract in the first place [was] because I didn't want my name out there," said Mayorga. "It's a pretty famous guy. So I'm terrified. I'm scared."
Las Vegas police reopened their criminal investigation into the 2009 case and have issued a warrant for Ronaldo's DNA, according to the Wall Street Journal. Authorities wish to compare his DNA with a sample found on Mayorga's dress. The warrant was sent to court officials in Italy, where Ronaldo plays for the Italian club Juventus, and he is expected to ship a sample back to officials in the United States.
Ronaldo has repeatedly refuted the allegations, insisting that the sex was consensual. In October, he tweeted, "I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. 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." In a follow-up tweet, he added,"My clear conscious [sic] will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations."
Mayorga reportedly signed the 'hush contract' because she was worried about the repercussions of defying such a big celebrity. However, after witnessing so many women come forward in the #MeToo movement, she felt inspired to share her story. The alleged incident took place nine years ago, and continues to affect her mental health to this day.
"This is an individual who suffers from major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder," stated Mayorga's lawyer, at a press conference last October. "She has a lot of problems attributable to the 2009 sexual assault and it's been very difficult for her over the last eight or nine years.'In dealing with Ms Mayorga and her family we have been particularly careful and mindful of her emotional state."
Credit: GettyKathryn Mayorga's mother, Cheryl, described how the alleged attack affected her daughter during an interview last September. "It's never left her. Every day, she lives it," she said. "There were times when she would call me and he would be on a billboard or whatever, and she would just completely disintegrate. Having to walk into a store to get a pint of milk, and you've got his picture everywhere. He's the soccer god that everybody thinks is just perfect and flawless. And she can't even get out of bed some days."
Now, the question is, will Ronaldo cooperate with authorities? "Ronaldo has leverage in terms of cooperation [with the police] because he cannot be compelled to appear in Las Vegas at this point," Michael McCann, a legal analyst for Sports Illustrated told The Independent. "If he cooperates he might only agree to do so by video conference and by answering questions in writing. He might also be willing to share electronic evidence. If he doesn’t cooperate, the police could take a negative inference from his lack of cooperation."