The legitimacy of international soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo’s settlement with a woman who accused him of rape in a Las Vegas resort should be decided at a trial, a federal judge in Nevada has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey has agreed to hear arguments on whether Kathryn Mayorga was mentally capable of entering into a 2010 deal with Ronaldo’s representatives in which she received $375,000.
In a 28-page ordered delivered late last month, Dorsey wrote that “Mayorga has raised a genuine dispute about her mental capacity” and that “Mayorga’s mental-capacity challenge must be determined by the court.”
While no date had been set, Dorsey gave lawyers for Mayorga and Ronaldo until the end of November to work out a plan for the bench trial.
In summer 2019, Ronaldo’s Las Vegas attorney, Peter Christiansen, asked to have the lawsuit against Ronaldo thrown out and acknowledged that the two had reached a $375,000 settlement agreement.
Around the same time, the Clark County district attorney’s office said that prosecutors would not pursue criminal charges against Ronaldo, citing a lack of evidence at the time of the alleged attack.
Mayorga has said that after she was assaulted in June 2009, she refused to provide a name out of fear of public humiliation and retaliation but identified her attacker, whom she met at a nightclub inside the Palms, to police as “a famous soccer player.”
Investigators had reopened the case after Mayorga identified Ronaldo as her attacker to police for the first time in August 2018.
About a month later, a lawsuit accusing Ronaldo of obstructing the criminal investigation into the sexual assault allegations was filed in Clark County District Court on Mayorga’s behalf. That lawsuit was later moved to federal court.
Ronaldo has taken to Twitter to state, in part, “I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in.”
Mayorga’s lawsuit alleges battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, coercion and fraud, abuse of a vulnerable person, defamation, and racketeering and civil conspiracy.
The federal complaint alleges that Ronaldo threatened to say that the sex was consensual in order to frame her allegations as extortion.