Brazil court dis­misses case against Lochte

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE -

SAO PAULO — A Brazil­ian court has dis­missed the crim­i­nal case against U.S. swim­mer Ryan Lochte, who had been charged with fil­ing a false rob­bery re­port dur­ing the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The court con­firmed in a statement this week that it tossed out the case af­ter de­ter­min­ing that Lochte’s rob­bery claim made to NBC did not con­sti­tute the fil­ing of a fake re­port, a crime pun­ish­able in Brazil by up to 18 months in prison.

“We are pleased that the court has fi­nally dis­missed the crim­i­nal prose­cu­tion against Mr. Lochte, while also ac­knowl­edg­ing that he com­mit­ted no crime while in Brazil. We are hope­ful that the prose­cu­tion ac­cepts the court’s de­ci­sion so that this story can fi­nally be put to rest,” Jeff Ostrow, Lochte’s Florida-based at­tor­ney, said in an email to The Associated Press on Satur­day.

Lochte told NBC last year that he and fel­low swim­mers Jack Conger, Gun­nar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen were robbed at gun­point in a taxi by men with po­lice badges as they re­turned to the Olympic Vil­lage from a party Aug. 15.

Video cap­tured by sur­veil­lance cam­eras showed the ath­letes get­ting into a con­fronta­tion with se­cu­rity guards at a gas sta­tion when their cab pulled over to let them use the re­stroom.

The six-time Olympic gold medal­ist later ac­knowl­edged that he was in­tox­i­cated and that his be­hav­ior led to the con­fronta­tion.

Lochte served a 10- month sus­pen­sion from the U. S. na­tional swim team for his be­hav­ior in Rio. He was in­el­i­gi­ble to com­pete at the re­cent U.S. na­tion­als, which kept him from qual­i­fy­ing for the world cham­pi­onships be­gin­ning July 23 in Hun­gary. His sus­pen­sion ended June 30.

“It’s been a long sus­pen­sion but it’s over,” he tweeted on July 1. “I’ve learned and be­came a bet­ter man from it.”

Lochte was sup­posed to re­turn to ac­tion this week­end by com­pet­ing in the Los An­ge­les In­vi­ta­tional, but he with­drew Fri­day, say­ing he was not in com­pe­ti­tion shape af­ter the birth of his son, Caiden, last month.


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