Las Vegas, Jul 23 (AP/UNB) — Cristiano Ronaldo won't face criminal charges after a woman accused the soccer star of raping her in his suite at a Las Vegas resort more than 10 years ago, a top prosecutor said Monday.
A new investigation by Las Vegas police failed to show that Kathryn Mayorga's claim could be proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said.
"Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming," Wolfson said in a statement.
The decision represented a victory on one of two legal tracks tied to the 2009 allegation against one of the most recognizable and highly paid players in sports.
In a lawsuit still pending in federal court, Mayorga alleges that she was pressured to sign an agreement to keep quiet in exchange for $375,000. Her lawyers want to void the deal and collect at least $200,000 more from Ronaldo.
Ronaldo's attorneys have acknowledged that the soccer star and Mayorga had consensual sex in June 2009, but they denied it was rape. Attorney Peter Christiansen was traveling Monday and wasn't immediately available to comment.
Attorneys for Mayorga, a former model and schoolteacher, did not immediately respond to telephone, text and email messages.
The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, but Mayorga gave consent through her lawyers to make her name public.
Her lawsuit says she met Ronaldo at a nightclub and went with him and other people to his suite at the Palms Hotel and Casino, where he assaulted her in a bedroom. Afterward, she signed a non-disclosure agreement under pressure from "fixers" trying to protect Ronaldo's reputation, her lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall, has said.
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas accuses Ronaldo or those working for him of conspiracy, defamation, breach of contract, coercion and fraud for allegedly allowing terms of the settlement to become public in European publications.
Her attorneys say Mayorga never wanted her name released but became worried that she would be identified after a 2017 media report apparently referred to the encounter.
Her lawyers have said in federal court documents that they were having trouble personally serving Ronaldo with legal filings. A judge has given them an Oct. 28 deadline.
Ronaldo plays in Italy for the Turin-based soccer club Juventus. He played previously for Manchester United in England and Real Madrid in Spain, where he earned a then-record sum of 94 million euros, or about $130 million.
Mayorga underwent a medical exam to collect DNA evidence shortly after she alleges Ronaldo assaulted her. Police closed their investigation in 2009 because Mayorga neither identified her attacker by name nor said where the alleged rape took place, said Wolfson, the elected prosecutor in Las Vegas.
Police have said she identified her attacker only as a European soccer player.
"As a result, the police were unable to ... conduct any meaningful investigation," Wolfson said Monday. "Detectives were unable to search for and impound vital forensic evidence. In addition, video evidence, showing interactions between the victim and perpetrator before and after the alleged crime, was lost."
The investigation was reopened in last year at the request of Mayorga's attorneys, shortly before they sued Ronaldo. She spoke again with police, and authorities this year obtained a sample of Ronaldo's DNA through Italian authorities.
Police did not immediately respond Monday to messages about the case.
Seattle, July 22 (AP/UNB) — Brian Fernandez only arrived in Portland a couple of months ago. He's quickly become a despised figure in Seattle.
Fernandez scored his second goal of the match in the 51st minute, moments after Seattle had pulled even, and the Portland Timbers beat the Sounders 2-1 on Sunday night in the first MLS clash of the season between the Cascadia rivals.
For Fernandez, it was his third and fourth goals against Seattle this season. He scored twice against the Sounders when the sides met in a U.S. Open Cup match last month.
But what he did on Sunday — before a crowd of more than 50,000 — had a bigger impact.
"To come to a stadium, especially in a big rivalry derby like this, and be able to score and be able to quiet people and not have people talk to you during the match it's beautiful," Fernandez said through an interpreter. "It's part of the game. I don't mean to be condescending. I don't mean to be arrogant about it. It's just one of those beautiful things about football."
It was the first league matchup between the rivals since last year's Western Conference semifinals, when Portland advanced from the two-leg series after an exhausting, exhilarating second-leg that eventually went to penalties before the Timbers moved on. Portland reached the MLS Cup final before losing to Atlanta.
While the stakes weren't the same, the intensity between the two long rivals was evident and erupted after the final whistle with several scrums, plenty of pushing and shoving and players needing to be separated. Seattle's Roman Torres and Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark were at the center of the activity, but plenty of others were involved.
"When you get taunted by some of their players toward the end of the game, that's a rivalry," said Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who was trying to separate others after the game. "Maybe getting feisty after the referee blows the whistle and people go after each other, we just need to remember those moments when we play them next time."
Fernandez scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season in just his second full month with the Timbers after being signed as a designated player form Necaxa in Mexico.
Fernandez gave Portland the early lead when he collected the ricochet from Jorge Moreira's shot off the crossbar and scored in the 20th minute, finishing into an open net. After Seattle's Raul Ruidiaz scored in the 50th minute to pull the Sounders even, Fernandez answered seconds later when his one-time shot deflected off Frei and trickled into the goal.
The victory kept alive Portland's chances of winning the Cascadia Cup competition between the Timbers, Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps. It was also a crucial three road points for the Timbers, who have just two MLS matches away from Providence Park the rest of the regular season.
It's also the second straight year Portland won the only regular-season matchup in Seattle.
"There is a belief we can do it together as a group and there is that trust in each other to go out there and play with our hearts and stick to what we ask them to do," Portland coach Giovanni Savarese said.
While Ruidiaz did collect Seattle's only goal and his eighth of the season, he'll also lament a pair of missed chances in the first 45 minutes and another opportunity in the 79th minute.
Seattle will have its chance to get even on Aug. 23 when the teams meet in Portland.
"Still some fire in this rivalry, and that got stoked to a higher level tonight," Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said. "We'll remember some of the things that happened tonight, and hopefully we can use that in the next game."
Dhaka, July 22 (UNB) – A double hat-trick by Liva Akter guided Lalmonirhat District to earn a convincing 10-0 goals victory over Rangpur District in Group A match of the final Round of BFF-UNICEF U-16 National Women’s Football Championship at Bir Shrestha Shaheed Shipahi Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur on Monday.
Liva Akter scored seven goals in the 3rd, 6th, 11th, 31st, 34th, 52nd and 70th minutes to make a double hat-trick while Monaki made a hat-trick scoring three goals in the 17th, 42nd and 54th minutes for Lalmonirhat.
In the day’s other Group A match, Gopalganj District beat Mymensingh District by a solitary goal scored by Bilkish Akter in the 20th minute.
Dhaka, July 22 (UNB) - Forward Gareth Bale’s tenure with Real Madrid could come to an end in a matter of days after manager Zinedine Zidane said the club were working on offloading the Welsh international., reports The Indian Express.
Bale, 30, has won four Champions League titles since joining Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 for a then world record 100 million euros ($112.20 million) but struggled to hold down his place in the starting side last season.
Amid suggestions that competition will only increase next season after the arrival of Belgian Eden Hazard, Bale was left out of Saturday’s 3-1 defeat by Bayern Munich in a pre-season clash in Houston.
“He wasn’t included in the squad because the club is working on his departure… that’s why he didn’t play,” Zidane told a news conference.
“We’ll have to see if it goes through tomorrow, if it does then all the better. Let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, that it happens soon.”
Zidane’s comments drew a stinging reply from Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett, who labelled the Frenchman “a disgrace.”
“Zidane is a disgrace to speak like that about someone who has done so much for Real,” Barnett was quoted as saying by ESPN.
“If and when Gareth goes it will be because it is in the best interest of Gareth and nothing to do with Zidane pushing.”
Bale was criticised by the Spanish media last season after failing to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus as Madrid came third in La Liga last season, 19 points behind champions Barcelona.
Zidane, however, said there was nothing personal in his decision to deem Bale surplus to requirements.
“There comes a time when things are done because they need to be done. I’ve not got anything against him,” Zidane added.
“We have to make decisions and change things, that’s all there is to it. I don’t know if this will happen in 24 or 48 hours… it’s for the best for everyone.”
Bale’s high wages — reported by British media to be 600,000 pounds ($749,880) per week — mean few clubs would be capable of signing him permanently.
Barnett last month ruled out chances of him leaving on loan saying he was happy to stay amid reports linking him with Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Spurs.
Singapore, July 21 (AP/UNB) — Harry Kane smashed the winning goal from the halfway line as Tottenham beat Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus 3-2 in a pre-season friendly on Sunday.
Kane struck in the 93rd minute of the International Champions Cup at Singapore's National Stadium with a first-time shot from just inside the Juventus half that went over former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
"It's probably one of the best goals in my career," the Spurs striker said. "I saw him (Szczesny) off his line and fortunately it went in."
Erik Lamela put Spurs ahead on the half-hour mark, and Juventus replied with goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Ronaldo. Lucas Moura came off the bench to level.
It was Maurizio Sarri's first match as Juventus coach.