An attorney representing the woman who has accused soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo of raping her in 2009 said the five-time Ballon d'Or winner would face prison time if he is found guilty of the alleged attack that took place almost a decade ago.
Leslie Stovall, the attorney, said the alleged rape was reported June 13, 2009 — the day it allegedly occurred at a Las Vegas hotel — and the prompt reporting eliminates any statute of limitations in Nevada.
Stovall said the alleged victim, Kathryn Mayorga, has not told him if she wants Ronaldo to serve time behind bars, but the attorney later told reporters, “I don't mean to sound trite, but she wants justice.’’
A Las Vegas police spokesperson told USA TODAY Sports earlier this week that it had reopened the sexual assault case reported by Mayorga, who alleged in a lawsuit filedin the Clark County (Nev.) District Court she was attacked by Ronaldo.
Mayorga, 34, who has worked as a model and school teacher in her hometown of Las Vegas, did not attend the news conference. Stovall said Mayorga considered suicide and abused alcohol after the alleged rape from which suffers PTSD and she is unavailable to the media because “of her emotional state.’’
Stovall also said Mayorga suffers from a learning disability, but said he was unsure whether a recent psychiatric exam found the disability played a role in the alleged rape. Stovall noted that Mayorga had worked hard to overcome the learning disability and earned a degree in journalism from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
The attorney stressed that Mayorga did not consent to sex with Ronaldo.
“She has been very consistent in her reporting of that,’’ Stovall said.
Stovall disputed published reports and a statement from Las Vegas police that Mayorga has not identified Ronaldo to law enforcement as the alleged attacker. He said she named Ronaldo when she first reported the case to police and said police never followed up with Mayorga after she spoke to a detective in 2009.
“It’s one of the great mysteries of the case,’’ said Stovall, who along with Mayorga contacted police in August. “…It appears to be the folks at the police department are working on it and I think we have to trust them.’’
More: Las Vegas police reopen sexual assault case tied to lawsuit against Ronaldo
Ronaldo: 'I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me'
Although statute of limitations would not apply in a criminal case, according to Stovall, he said a two-year statute of limitations creates potential problems for Mayorga’s civil lawsuit filed in September.
Mayorga also agreed to a $375,000 settlement and non-disclosure with Ronaldo and Stovall said they will argue that she, in the wake of the alleged attack, lacked the capacity to sign an agreement that can be legally enforced.
Mayorga said the alleged incident occurred at a suite inside the Palms Hotel and Casino. She claimed in the lawsuit that Ronaldo entered the bathroom and pulled her into the bedroom where the assault took place.
“Cristiano Ronaldo turned plaintiff onto her side and while screaming ‘no, no, no’” the civil suit alleges.
Mayorga alleges she was sodomized by Ronaldo and that resulted in “severe emotional and bodily injuries including but not limited to anal contusions, post-traumatic stress disorder, and major depression.”
In addition to reporting the alleged assault on June 13, 2009 to police, Mayorga underwent a sexual abuse examination at a local hospital, according to the lawsuit and the Las Vegas Police.
Ronaldo issued a statement Wednesday morning where he forcefully pushed back against the allegations.
“I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me,” Ronaldo said in Wednesday’s statement. “Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in. Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense. My clear conscious will thereby allow me to await with tranquility the results of any and all investigations.”
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Aden Ocampo said neither Mayorga nor her representatives named Ronaldo as the suspect, although the department has launched an investigation that he said was "open" as of Monday.
Ocampo said Mayorga didn’t name a suspect and chose not to pursue the case after she reported it in 2009, although police do have the rape kit from her exam.