Police in Las Vegas have asked Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo to provide a DNA sample for their investigation into a woman’s claim that he sexually assaulted her in a hotel room in 2009. The request, which a Las Vegas police spokeswoman said involved a warrant, was made to Italian authorities because Ronaldo currently is playing for Turin-based Juventus.
The Ronaldo investigation was reopened in August at the request of a woman named Kathryn Mayorga, who has filed a lawsuit against the soccer star alleging that he sexually assaulted her and that his legal team coerced her into signing a 2010 nondisclosure agreement in an out-of-court settlement in exchange for $375,000. (The Washington Post does not generally name alleged victims of sexual assault, but has received permission from Mayorga’s attorney allowing her identity to be revealed.)
According to her lawsuit, Mayorga — 25 at the time — and a friend were at the Rain nightclub at the Palms Casino Resort when they encountered Ronaldo, who invited them to his penthouse suite at the hotel, where she claims he raped her. After contacting police the next day, she went to a hospital and underwent a medical examination. Eventually, she declined to press charges, with the Las Vegas police saying in an October statement that she “did not provide detectives with the location of the incident or suspect description.” Mayorga, however, contends in her lawsuit that both a nurse at the hospital and a Las Vegas police detective discouraged her from filing charges against Ronaldo because of his fame.
Ronaldo has denied committing a crime, calling the allegations “fake news” in an Instagram video posted after Mayorga aired her claims in October. His U.S. attorney, Peter S. Christiansen, also maintains that his client is not guilty and said Thursday that the DNA request was standard evidence-gathering.
“Mr. Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in Las Vegas in 2009 was consensual in nature,” Christiansen said, “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.”
Juventus Coach Massimiliano Allegri described Ronaldo as “very calm” when asked about the latest development in the matter on Friday.
“It’s a private matter so I can only talk about soccer. So I’ll respond to how I’ve seen Ronaldo. He’s very calm. He has trained very well and rested like everyone else — which was needed after four intense months,” Allegri said ahead of Saturday’s match against Bologna, per the Associated Press. “Now he needs to prepare well for the second half and most important part of the season.
“I see Cristiano very serene and calm and that’s what I’m basing this on. 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.”
The Italian justice ministry, Turin police and the U.S. Embassy have yet to comment about the request made by the Las Vegas police, the AP reports.