US judge says rape case against Ronaldo should be dismissed in scathing attack on accuser Mayorga’s legal team

A federal magistrate judge in Nevada says the rape case against Cristiano Ronaldo should be dropped as he sided with the football megastar’s lawyers against the attorney for accuser Kathryn Mayorga.

Magistrate judge Daniel Albregts blasted Mayorga’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, for basing their case on leaked and stolen documents which were deemed privileged communications between Ronaldo and his legal team.

“Dismissing Mayorga’s case for the inappropriate conduct of her attorney is a harsh result, but it is, unfortunately, the only appropriate sanction to ensure the integrity of the judicial process,” Albregts wrote in a recommendation to judge Jennifer Dorsey, according to the AP.

“Stovall has acted in bad faith to his client’s – and his profession’s – detriment,” he added.

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Mayorga has accused Ronaldo of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel suite after a night spent partying in 2009.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has vehemently denied the claims, saying that the pair had consensual sex.

However, his legal team have confirmed a payment of $375,000 in ‘hush money’ in 2010 to prevent the claims from being made public.

The claims were made public in 2017 in German magazine Der Spiegel, which said it had obtained potentially damning documents in the case.

Mayorga, a former teacher and model, initially remained anonymous but waived her right to anonymity the following year in a detailed interview with the publication.  

In 2019, prosecutors in Las Vegas said Ronaldo would not face criminal charges over the allegations as they could “not be proven beyond reasonable doubt.”

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Mayorga, 37, then launched a civil case against the 36-year-old Manchester United star, seeking damages and aiming to overturn the out-of-court settlement on the grounds that she was mentally unfit to agree to its terms at the time.  

The recent recommendation from Nevada magistrate judge Albregts is part of that case, although no date has been set for judge Dorsey to take up the recommendation.  

Responding to the news, Ronaldo’s attorney in Las Vegas, Peter Christiansen, said the star’s legal team was “pleased with the court’s detailed review... and its willingness to justly apply the law to the facts and recommend dismissal of the civil case against Mr. Ronaldo.”

According to the AP, Mayorga is seeking to collect at least $200,000 more from Ronaldo.

The Portuguese football star's return to Manchester United from Juventus in the summer has revived interest in the case, with feminist activists flying a banner over a recent home game at the club's Old Trafford stadium, reading "Believe Kathryn Mayorga."

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