US court grants Ronaldo’s bid to block accuser in rape case
LAS VEGAS (AP):
Cristiano Ronaldo's lawyers won a courtroom bid yesterday to block a Nevada woman accusing the football superstar of raping her in Las Vegas in 2009 from digging into the validity of their 2010 confidentiality agreement and US$375,000 ($J52,11,237) hush-money payment.
US Magistrate Judge Daniel Albregts told Kathryn Mayorga's attorney that it will be up to a higher-level judge to decide if her effort to obtain more money advances to trial or is diverted to closed-door arbitration.
Albregts, who was named in August to the US District Court, now handles filings and pretrial arguments in a case that Ronaldo's lawyers want dismissed or moved to private talks.
He said his preliminary review of documents filed under seal in the civil lawsuit before US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey led him to agree with Ronaldo's lawyers that the records should, at least for now, remain sealed.
Mayorga's attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, declined to comment about the ruling.
The Associated Press generally doesn't name people who say they're victims of sexual assault, but Mayorga gave consent through her attorneys last year to be identified.
Mayorga, now 36, is a former teacher and model who lives in the Las Vegas area. She says in court documents she met Ronaldo at a nightclub and went with him and other people to his suite at the Palms Hotel and Casino, where she alleges he assaulted her in a bedroom.
Ronaldo, through his lawyers, maintains the sex was consensual.
Ronaldo, 34, of Portugal is one of the richest athletes in the world. He plays in Italy for the Turin-based football club Juventus and captains his home country's national team.