A Nevada woman has lost her bid in a U.S. court to force Cristiano Ronaldo to over $375,000 settlement after alleging that the Portuguese super star raped her in Las Vegas in 2009.
U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey in Las Vegas kicked the case out of court on Friday to punish the woman’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, for “bad-faith conduct” and the use of “purloined” confidential documents that the judge said tainted the case beyond redemption.
Dorsey said in her 42-page order that dismissing a case outright with no option to file it again is a severe sanction, but she said Ronaldo had been harmed by Stovall’s conduct.
“I find that the procurement and continued use of these documents was bad faith, and simply disqualifying Stovall will not cure the prejudice to Ronaldo because the misappropriated documents and their confidential contents have been woven into the very fabric of [plaintiff Kathryn] Mayorga’s claims,” the ruling said. “Harsh sanctions are merited.”
Stovall did not immediately respond Saturday to telephone and email messages. Text messages to associate Larissa Drohobyczer were not answered. They could appeal the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
In a statement referring to Mayorga only as “plaintiff,” Ronaldo’s attorney in Las Vegas, Peter Christiansen, said Cristiano’s legal team welcomed the decision.
“We have maintained the action was brought in bad faith,” the statement said. “The outright dismissal of the plaintiff’s case should give all who follow this matter renewed confidence in the judicial process in this country while dissuading those who seek to undermine it.”
The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, but Mayorga gave consent through Stovall and Drohobyczer to make her name public.