Police believed they had enough evidence to arrest and charge Cristiano Ronaldo over an alleged sexual assault – only to be scuppered by a senior official as the District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute.
A bombshell court transcript has claimed that police in Las Vegas had even signed a warrant for Ronaldo’s arrest after accuser Kathryn Mayorga claimed he had assaulted her in a hotel room in June 2009.
But Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson declined to prosecute the case with no explanation given.
The claims were made by Mayorga’s lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall, in the US District Court in Las Vegas on September 21 last year, but the transcript has only just come to light after being unearthed by The Sun.
In the transcript, Stovall, revealed: “What happened is when that [arrest warrant] was submitted to the district attorney’s office, Mr. Wolfson declined to prosecute.
“He doesn’t say why he decided to decline and anything – any argument is just speculation. It was within the statute of limitations.
“The police believed that they had a case to prosecute for one count of sexual assault and the DA decided not to.”
As revealed by the Mirror, Ronaldo’s bid to prevent the publication of police files about the alleged sex assault was due to be heard by a Las Vegas court earlier this month.
Ronaldo has been fighting an attempt by a newspaper to be given access to documents held by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
The legal team acting on behalf of the Manchester United star argued that much of the information was obtained illegally by the Football Leaks website and is a breach of attorney-client privilege.
Ronaldo has always fiercely denied the claims, saying in 2018 that the accusation was “against everything that I am and believe in.”
Ms Mayorga’s lawyers agreed that all information obtained by an alleged computer hack shouldn’t be published until a court has ruled on whether it does infringe Ronaldo’s legal rights.
But they believe that the rest of the 400-plus documents should be released to the New York Times.
Judge Jennifer A Dorsey was due to hear legal arguments from both sides in court last Tuesday, February 8 with a final hearing to deliver a ruling on Ronaldo’s efforts to keep all police files out of the public domain scheduled for a later date.
His lawyers filed a “protective order” to prevent their release in November, after the LVMPD confirmed that they were planning to hand material to the newspaper.
The files, although redacted in parts, include crime reports, property records, voluntary statements by both accuser and accused, and other communications with detectives.
The initial hearing was twice delayed by Covid outbreaks on both sides.
Four months ago, a US magistrate judge recommended that an attempt by Ms Mayorga to sue Ronaldo for more than £56million should be dismissed because her case relied so heavily on documents obtained from Football Leaks.
A final ruling on whether her fight for damages may go ahead is yet to be announced.
She accepted a $375,000 (£276,260) payment from Ronaldo a few months after the alleged attack in his hotel suite at the Palms Place Hotel and signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement.