Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo may face his rape accuser in court after a Las Vegas judge ruled against him.
Kathryn Mayorga, 35, claims the Portuguese star sexually assaulted her in June 2009 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
In 2010, she accepted $375,000 (£290,000) in a non-disclosure agreement, but is now pursuing a new claim for more than $210,000 (£165,000) saying she was mentally unfit when she took the first settlement.
Ronaldo’s U.S. lawyers had tried to get the judge to dismiss her bid, arguing that Mayorga was well enough the first time around in 2010.
But the judge has now ruled against him and ordered a trial date to be set to settle the issue by December because the merit of Mayorga’s claim ‘hinges on the mental-capacity issue.’
Mayorga will now appear before a court, and if she is successful in her bid to prove she was not mentally fit to settle in 2010, Ronaldo could be called to give evidence.
Ronaldo, 35, has always vehemently denied Mayorga’s accusations against him, branding them ‘fake news’.
Lawyers for Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured left playing for Juventus on September 20) have failed to get a claim for more than $210,000 (£165,000) against him dismissed in Las Vegas. Ronaldo had been accused of rape by American model Kathryn Mayorga (pictured right) who is saying she was mentally unfit when she first accepted a settlement in 2010
In the court filings obtained by The Sun, Judge Jennifer Dorsey ruled: ‘I find that Mayorga’s challenge that she lacked the mental capacity to assent to the settlement agreement is not arbitrable…
‘Mayorga did not comply with the correct procedure to request a jury trial of the mental-capacity issue, so I direct the parties to prepare to adjudicate it in a bench trial.
‘Because the proper venue for resolving Mayorga’s claims on their merits hinges on the mental-capacity issue, I deny without prejudice Ronaldo’s motion to dismiss them.’
Ronaldo and his legal team argued that ‘Mayorga cannot show that she lacked the mental capacity to assent to the settlement agreement.’
But the judge stated: ‘Mayorga provides written statements from both a psychiatrist and a therapist who treated her within the past five years about the alleged sexual assault and opine that she lacked capacity to contract at the time she signed the settlement agreement.
‘She also offers a written statement from a therapist who treated her shortly after the alleged assault and thereafter for many years.’
Police announced they will not press criminal charges against Ronaldo (pictured with Mayorga on the night in question) in July 2019, but he is still caught up in the civil lawsuit
American model-turned-teacher Mayorga claimed the football star raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009 after the pair met on a night out and she agreed to go back to his hotel room.
Last year, the Juventus star was told in July that he will not face charges after police failed to find enough evidence to prosecute.
But Mayorga is pressing ahead with a civil case which seeks to nullify a non-disclosure agreement she signed with the athlete in 2010.
She claims his legal team exploited her vulnerable mental state in order to get her to sign the document.
In court papers filed last year, Ronaldo’s legal team acknowledged for the first time that Mayorga was paid $375,000 (£290,000) at the time she first made the accusations to police in order ‘to maintain the confidentiality of their dispute.’
However, they note that the payment in no way acknowledges guilt, and that in fact ‘the [agreement] made clear Mr. Ronaldo disputed [Mayorga’s] allegations and in no way conceded she was injured.
American model-turned-teacher Mayorga claimed the football star raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009 after the pair met on a night out (pictured) in the city
‘To the contrary, the [agreement] stated in no uncertain terms that Mr. Ronaldo was agreeing to pay [Mayorga] a sum of money in order to maintain the confidentiality of their dispute.’
Ronaldo’s lawyers argue that the previous agreement and Nevada’s statue of limitations make Mayorga’s lawsuit null and void.
They also say she has yet to present any concrete evidence that she ‘lacked mental capacity’ when she signed the NDA.
In 2018, Ronaldo said: ‘I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything I am and believe in.’
His mother Dolores has stuck by Ronaldo throughout the months-long investigation, saying in February that she had ‘confidence in my son when it comes to what happened’.
The mother-of-four also hit out at Ronaldo’s American accuser, saying she ‘didn’t go to his hotel room to play cards’.
Ronaldo’s girlfriend, 26-year-old Spanish model Georgina Rodriguez, has also stood by him over the claims.
Cristiano Ronaldo with his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez last year, who has backed him over the rape claims, pictured in Madrid together last year
Police could not conduct ‘any meaningful investigation’ at the time because Ms Mayorga declined to say who assaulted her or where it occurred, U.S. prosecutors said.
As a result, detectives were ‘unable to search for and impound vital forensic evidence,’ and a video showing Ronaldo and Mayorga together was lost, they added.
Mayorga contacted police in August 2018 to ask that the case be reopened, at which point she named Ronaldo as the alleged assailant.
Her lawyers have said she was inspired to speak out and make her claim public by the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.
While no charges were brought, she launched a civil suit in a bit to over-turn the non-disclosure agreement.
In July 2019 Clark County District Attorney’s Office announced that it wouldn’t prosecute the alleged attack, which was reported to police on June 13 in 2009.
They said officers who attended the hotel on that day could not ‘conduct any meaningful investigation’ because the woman refused to identify an attacker and would not say where she had been assaulted.
‘Without knowing the identity of the perpetrator or the location of the crime, detectives were unable to search for and impound vital forensic evidence,’ the prosecutors said.
‘In addition, video evidence, showing interactions between the victim and perpetrator before and after the alleged crime, was lost. The criminal investigation was closed.’
Ronaldo left Real Madrid in 2018 after nine seasons with the club, joining Italian champions Juventus.
While in Spain he became Real Madrid’s highest ever goalscorer, netting 451 times after joining from Manchester United for a then-world record £80million in 2009.
He helped Real win three consecutive Champions League titles in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Ronaldo is also Portugal’s most-capped player, with 165 appearances, and record goalscorer, with 101. He earned a reported 31 million euros ($36 million) in 2019.