The judge found that the alleged victim’s lawyer had acted in bad faith.
A federal judge has found that a Las Vegas attorney acted badly while representing a woman who was sued for rape by soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
According to The Associated Press, Judge Daniel Albregts accused Kathryn Mayorga’s attorney Leslie Mark Sovall of basing his civil damages claim on the $ 375,000 Mayorga received from Ronaldo in 2010.
Although Albregts’ decision is not binding, his result will be examined and likely carried out by the district judge overseeing the lawsuit.
In his ruling, Albregts noted that the damage was calculated based on leaked and stolen documents, which later turned out to be privileged communications between Ronaldo and his lawyers.
A hammer. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr / User: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).
“Dismissing Mayorga’s lawsuit for improper behavior by its attorney is a harsh outcome,” Albregts wrote in a 23-page recommendation to US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey. “But it is unfortunately the only appropriate sanction to ensure the integrity of the judicial process.”
“Stovell acted in bad faith to harm his client – and his profession,” added the judge.
Albregts also noted that the court had not found Ronaldo to be a crime; Nor was there compelling evidence that Ronaldo and his agents “intimidated or obstructed law enforcement” Mayorga when she agreed to drop the charges against the athlete and accept a confidential settlement of $ 375,000.
Mayorga – who gave the media permission to publish her name – is a former model Ronaldo met at a Las Vegas nightclub in 2009. She accompanied him along with several other people to the soccer player’s hotel, where she alleged that he had sexually assaulted her in the bedroom of his suite.
Ronaldo and his lawyers admitted that he had sexual intercourse with Mayorga, but claim the encounter was consensual.
Las Vegas prosecutors declined to bring charges after Mayorga filed her first complaint for refusing to name her attacker – although her comments made it clear that she was talking about Ronaldo.
The comparison became public in 2017 after the German news agency Der Spiegel published an article entitled “Cristiano Ronaldo’s Secret”. The report came from a whistleblower named Football Leaks.
Stovall, The Las Vegas Review-Journal added, based his damage calculations on the Spiegel report and defended his actions by stating that he did not steal documents because he had no one to steal them from.
“The Mayorgas v Ronaldo case would likely not exist if Stovall hadn’t asked about the Football Leaks documents,” Albregts wrote.
“There is no way to continue this case if the court cannot tell what arguments and testimony are based on these privileged documents,” he added.
Peter Christiansen, one of Ronaldo’s lawyers in Las Vegas, told The Associated Press that he and his client “are pleased with the court’s detailed review.” […] and his willingness to apply the law fairly to the facts and recommended the cessation of civil proceedings against Mr. Ronaldo. “
Ronaldo, adds The Las Vegas Review-Journal, is one of the “most recognized and highly paid” athletes in his sport at 36 years old.
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