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Cristiano Ronaldo rape case was always likely to end like this

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It’s been nearly 11 years since Cristiano Ronaldo, as described by Kathryn Mayorga, assaulted her in a Las Vegas penthouse suite. The 35-year-old Juventus star has long denied the account, which never led to a criminal charge but did lead to Mayorga suing Ronaldo in 2018 for battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, coercion, fraud, abuse of a vulnerable person, racketeering, defamation, abuse of process, negligence and breach of contract.

A ruling by a federal magistrate judge this week recommends that remaining legal fallout be addressed in a confidential arbitration proceeding rather than in a public trial. While Mayorga’s attorney can object to the magistrate judge’s ruling, it will most likely hold.

Mayorga, in other words, will probably not get her day in court.

How has a sexual assault case involving one of the world’s most prominent and affluent athletes mostly sidestepped the U.S. justice system? The case has been constrained by incomplete investigations, jurisdictional boundaries and contractual waivers.

The disputed incident 

The genesis of the controversy occurred on Friday, June 12, 2009. Mayorga, then 25, met Ronaldo for the first time. They saw each other at the Rain Nightclub in the Palms and struck up a conversation. She contends that after chatting with 24-year-old Ronaldo, he invited her and a friend up to his penthouse suite. Mayorga and her friend accepted the invitation.

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