Police in Las Vegas have reopened a criminal investigation at the request of a woman who has alleged in a civil suit that global football star Cristiano Ronaldo sexually assaulted her in 2009.
Last week, attorney Leslie Mark Stovall filed a complaint in Clark County District Court alleging that Ronaldo assaulted his client, Kathryn Mayorga, in a Las Vegas hotel room on June 13, 2009.
The suit says Mayorga asked police last month to reopen a criminal case from that day. Las Vegas police, while not mentioning Ronaldo, confirmed to The Associated Press and USA Today that the reopened case was brought by the woman named in the lawsuit.
Police said Monday they responded to a sexual assault call on the date Mayorga is alleging in her civil suit but said the victim "did not provide detectives with the location of the incident or suspect description" at the time, though a medical exam was conducted.
"As of September 2018, the case has been reopened and our detectives are following up on information being provided by the victim," a police statement said. "This is an ongoing investigation and no further details will be released at this time."
Ronaldo, the Juventus forward who is among the world's most famous athletes, dismissed the claims over the weekend as "fake, fake news." Stovall responded Monday by asserting the sincerity of the cases.
"Ms. Mayorga's filed complaint, the physical evidence of her sexual assault, answers to written questions regarding the sexual assault attributed to Cristiano Ronaldo, the communications and conduct of the 'team' representing Cristiano Ronaldo, the circumstances surrounding the purported agreement for settlement and non disclosure, and the psychological injuries suffered by Ms. Mayorga are not 'fake news,'" Stovall wrote.
"Ms. Mayorga's August 2018 decision to contact the police and participate in the criminal investigation of the June 13, 2009, sexual assault, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's current investigation of the June 13, 2009, sexual assault of Ms. Mayorga, and the existence of Nevada Revised Statute 171.083 removing the time limits for criminal prosecution of a sexual assault in the State of Nevada, are not 'fake news.'"
The civil complaint alleges that Mayorga was coerced into signing a nondisclosure agreement in 2010 in an out-of-court settlement in exchange for $375,000. It asks for general damages, special damages, punitive damages and special relief, each in excess of $50,000, along with interest, attorney fees and court costs.
"The psychological trauma of the sexual assault, the fear of public humiliation and retaliation and the reiteration of those fears by law enforcement and medical providers left plaintiff terrified and unable to act or advocate for herself," the lawsuit says.
Ronaldo's representatives last week threatened to sue German magazine Der Spiegel for reporting on the lawsuit, and the player then addressed the allegations in an Instagram Live chat.
"You want to promote by my name. It's normal," Ronaldo said. "They want to be famous, to say my name. But it is part of the job. I am a happy man and all good.''
When Der Spiegel first reported the out-of-court settlement in April 2017, in an article which did not name the alleged victim, Ronaldo's representatives called the story "a piece of journalistic fiction."
Mayorga told Der Spiegel that she decided to come forward this year after the #MeToo movement that has seen victims speak out about past sexual abuse.
Monday's statement from Mayorga's lawyer, who also announced a news conference for Wednesday, concludes by saying she hopes to encourage victims to report assaults "no matter how famous, wealthy or powerful they may appear to be."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.