A Las Vegas police report compiled a decade later after a woman first filed a 2009 rape complaint against international soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo nearly went public Tuesday by mistake, before a Nevada judge reversed his position and remained closed.
Clark County District Court Judge Jasmine Lilly-Spiels has decided to at least temporarily follow a federal court order withholding the results of a police investigation from public view, a confidential agreement with the alleged rape victim and allegedly stolen records of attorney-client discussions between Ronaldo and his attorney.
“The court ordered the temporary seal to remain,” Lilly-Spiels said, calling for written arguments by Sept. 6 from attorneys for Ronaldo, the woman, Kathryn Mayorga, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Mayorga went to Las Vegas police after the June 2009 confrontation, but the criminal investigation was dropped because she did not identify her alleged attacker by name and did not mention the scene, police and prosecutors said.
Police reopened a rape investigation after Mayorga sued Ronaldo in 2018. But Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson refused to pursue criminal charges, saying it was too long to prove the case to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.
On Tuesday, the judge rejected a request by the Las Vegas police to decide whether Ronaldo could be sued by the department by Ronaldo for damages if the records were published. The documents were not part of the court’s public record.
As part of that ruling, Lilly-Spells announced that several other pending items were moot — including a temporary order that keeps disputed documents sealed pending a hearing. As the controversy extended into the afternoon, the judge acknowledged the error and corrected it.
It has not yet been decided whether the documents should be released under Nevada’s Public Records Act, after Mayorga and her attorney lost a case in US District Court to challenge the validity of a confidentiality agreement on money that paid Mayorga $375,000 in 2010.
The Associated Press does not generally name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, but Mayorga, through her lawyer, has agreed to be named in news reports.
The New York Times began a battle to release the records in federal court, and The Review Journal began the battle in state court. Attorney Margaret McCulitchey represented the two newspapers.
Ronaldo’s lawyers, led by Peter Christiansen and Kendley Works, fought at every turn of a four-year legal battle to prevent the documents from becoming public.
Mayorga’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, sought their release, sometimes attaching them to court files before Ronaldo’s lawyers took swift legal action to keep them closed.
US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey in June dismissed Mayorga’s civil suit – which was moved in 2019 to federal court, with Stovall seeking at least $25 million in damages from Ronaldo, plus attorneys’ fees.
Stovall appealed Dorsey’s dismissal of the case to the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Mayorga’s lawyers allege that Ronaldo or his associates violated the confidentiality agreement before a German news agency, Der Spiegel, published an article in April 2017 titled “The Secret of Cristiano Ronaldo” based on documents obtained from what he called court filings the “Football Leaks whistleblower portal”. .
Ronaldo’s lawyers argue that the Football Leaks documents and the confidentiality agreement are the product of privileged discussions between the lawyers and the client and there is no guarantee of their authenticity.
They are also asking Dorsey to order Stovall to pay more than $626,000 in court costs and fees to punish him for what Dorsey – in a scathing comment – called “bad faith behavior” by a court officer and improper use of leaked stolen documents to pursue Mayorga’s case.
“The fact that the original thief was not adding any element of innocence to his calculated confiscation of third-party documents without concern about their distinct nature, confidentiality or suspicious circumstances surrounding them,” the judge wrote.
Mayorga is a former model and teacher who lives in the Las Vegas area. Her lawsuit said she met Ronaldo at a nightclub and went with him and other people to his hotel suite, where she alleged he assaulted her in a bedroom. She was 25 years old at the time. He was 24 years old.
Ronaldo’s legal team does not dispute that Ronaldo met Mayorga and had sex in June 2009, but they maintain that it was consensual.
Ronaldo, 37, is one of the world’s most popular sports stars. He plays for the English Premier League club Manchester United and led his country Portugal. He played in recent years in Italy for Juventus in Turin.