This week we are joined by USA Today’s investigative reporter A.J. Perez and The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education’s Jessica Feighan to discuss the sexual assault allegations made against soccer superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo.
These allegations, made by Kathryn Mayorga, relate to an incident that occurred in 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. When this event first happened, A.J. Perez claims that the Las Vegas police stated that Mayorga did not name a suspect, but reminds us that there was a settlement and a non-disclosure agreement between Ronaldo and Mayorga that was signed in 2010. The settlement reached was for $375,000.
Once Mayorga came forward to the police, a rape kit was done, but never processed and it was stated that she did not want to pursue the case. Now that this new lawsuit was opened last month, it appears Mayorga wants to “hold the soccer superstar…to account, criminally,” states Perez.
Jessica Feighan claims that “it can take years” for victims of sexual assault to come forward with their allegations and that, “it is not uncommon at all for people to not initially want to go to the police, [or even] the hospital.”
A.J. Perez states that in this case, “both the hospital staff and the police told [Mayorga] the case would ‘make her look bad’,” and therefore increases distrust between the victims and those in authority. Perez also states that the previous settlement and non-disclosure agreement should not discredit Mayorga’s allegations due to her being, “under emotional distress, [having] pressure from Ronaldo’s people to settle and her first lawyer being…inadequate.”
Ronaldo’s lawyer claimed this week that the sexual relations between the two were consensual, seemingly deeming the rape-kit taken in 2009 useless due to Ronaldo’s admission that there was a sexual encounter. Perez reminds us that the settlement reached in 2010 was not an admission of guilt for Ronaldo and that he is unsure how the prosecution will use this settlement in this new lawsuit.
Jessica Feighan claims that with the current media coverage of the rape allegations made by Dr. Ford against Judge Brett Kavanaugh calls to sexual assault hotlines have increased by 200%. She claims that “societally we automatically go into this victim blaming,” and when large cases such as the case against Kavanaugh and Ronaldo are covered by the media and apparently ignore the victims it makes it harder for other victims to come forward.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, please do not hesitate to call The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education:
24 Hour Hotlines:
203-329-2929 (Ct. Local)
888-999-5545 (Toll Free)