Sunday Times

UK po­lice urged to re­open rape case against Ron­aldo

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● Eng­land’s Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice (CPS) should re-ex­am­ine its de­ci­sion to drop a 2005 Lon­don-based rape al­le­ga­tion against Cris­tiano Ron­aldo, MPs and cam­paign­ers said late on Fri­day.

Women’s groups and MPs ex­pressed con­cern af­ter it emerged that the case against the Por­tuguese foot­baller was dis­missed in less than a month.

Ques­tions were also raised over the rev­e­la­tion that one of his ac­cusers sud­denly de­cided to with­draw her com­plaint with­out ex­pla­na­tion.

Ron­aldo, who is one of the big­gest names in world foot­ball, with mar­ket­ing en­dorse­ments worth hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars, is fac­ing an al­le­ga­tion of rape in the US dat­ing to 2009.

He is ac­cused of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing Kathryn May­orga, 33, at the Palm Casino re­sort in Las Ve­gas.

Re­visit the de­ci­sion not to pros­e­cute

It is claimed he paid her a re­ported $375,000 to buy her silence that she al­leges to have been co­erced into sign­ing. But her lawyers have now is­sued a sum­mons for which he has 20 days to re­spond.

As part of the case, May­orga’s lawyers are now ap­peal­ing for the two women from the 2005 case in Lon­don to come for­ward.

Jess Phillips, the Labour MP who sits on the women and equal­i­ties com­mit­tee, called for the CPS to re­open the 2005 case, and to look into the sec­ond al­le­ga­tion which was dropped.

“The CPS should be look­ing at those cases and re-con­tact­ing the vic­tims to ask if they would like the process restarted,” she said.

Phillips also called for an “enor­mous re­view and over­haul” of how gag­ging orders are used in abuse cases: “In light of the Ron­aldo and We­in­stein cases, there needs to be a proper look back of ev­ery lawyers’ firm that has been writ­ten a non-dis­clo­sure agree­ment where a sex­ual crime has oc­curred,” she said.

Dark time for prose­cut­ing

Cam­paign­ers have also sug­gested that the po­lice and pros­e­cu­tors ought to re­visit the de­ci­sion not to pros­e­cute Ron­aldo in Lon­don.

Rachel Krys, co-founder of the End Vi­o­lence Against Women Coali­tion, said 2005 was a “dark time” for prose­cut­ing se­ri­ous sex­ual of­fences, and said it was vi­tal vic­tims could have com­plete con­fi­dence in the sys­tem. She said: “There is a strong case for the CPS re-ex­am­in­ing any file from 2005 and en­sur­ing the de­ci­sion to drop the case then was the cor­rect one.

“It is es­sen­tial that the po­lice and pros­e­cu­tion ser­vice do every­thing in their power to en­sure jus­tice is done.”

The foot­baller and his cousin, Nonu Aveiro, were ar­rested in Oc­to­ber 2005 af­ter be­ing ac­cused of rap­ing two women in the pent­house suite of the San­der­son Ho­tel.

The in­ci­dent al­legedly took place in the early hours of Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 2 fol­low­ing a match be­tween Manch­ester United and Ful­ham. The women, who were French, told po­lice that the star and his com­pan­ion had sex­u­ally as­saulted them both.

One of the women, who lived in Paris at the time, with­drew her al­le­ga­tion a short time later, but the Lon­don-based woman con­tin­ued with the com­plaint.

On Novem­ber 24, the CPS an­nounced there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to pro­ceed with the case.

Mean­while, Ron­aldo is fac­ing the prospect of mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar claims from spon­sors if

We are deeply con­cerned by the dis­turb­ing al­le­ga­tions

Nike

In a state­ment re­gard­ing Ron­aldo

May­orga’s rape al­le­ga­tion against him is proven, ac­cord­ing to a lead­ing sports lawyer.

Si­mon Leaf, who spe­cialises in com­mer­cial con­tracts for Mish­con de Reya, also be­lieves that other sports stars and celebri­ties will be look­ing care­fully at the le­gal prece­dent in re­la­tion to Kathryn May­orga’s at­tempt to void a re­ported $375,000 nondis­clo­sure agree­ment that she al­leges to have been co­erced into sign­ing.

Ron­aldo has de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tion, say­ing “rape is an abom­inable crime that goes against every­thing that I am and be­lieve in”.

Top 10 celebrity earn­ers in the world.

There was some sur­prise late this week among in­dus­try ex­perts at the de­ci­sion by two of Ron­aldo’s high­est-pro­file spon­sors, Nike and EA Sports, to is­sue pub­lic state­ments. Nike said that it was “deeply con­cerned” by “dis­turb­ing” al­le­ga­tions that it would mon­i­tor closely. EA Sport also de­scribed the sit­u­a­tion as “con­cern­ing”.

Forbes has es­ti­mated that Ron­aldo’s so­cial me­dia pres­ence, which in­cludes 142.9 mil­lion In­sta­gram fol­low­ers, gen­er­ates some $176m for his spon­sors. He also has an ex­ten­sive line of branded “CR7” prod­ucts, in­clud­ing Pes­tana ho­tels and his own mu­seum, the Museu CR7, and is rated by Forbes in the top 10 celebrity earn­ers in the world.

He is one of only three ath­letes to have a life­time con­tract with Nike, which has been val­ued at $1bil­lion, and Leaf is cer­tain that all his ma­jor spon­sors will be now check­ing the de­tail of their con­tracts. — © The Daily Tele­graph, Lon­don

 ?? Pic­ture: Reuters ?? Soc­cer mae­stro Cris­tiano Ron­aldo is em­broiled in a rape al­le­ga­tion dat­ing back 10 years.
Pic­ture: Reuters Soc­cer mae­stro Cris­tiano Ron­aldo is em­broiled in a rape al­le­ga­tion dat­ing back 10 years.

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