Police have issued a warrant for Cristiano Ronaldo’s DNA as a part of an investigation into a decade-old rape allegation against the soccer superstar, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
Ronaldo, 33, was accused of sexually assaulting a Nevada woman in a hotel penthouse back in 2009 after she was separated from a group visiting at his invitation.
He has denied the accusation. His lawyer in a statement Thursday said the sex was consensual and appeared to confirm the report that police have issued a warrant for a DNA sample from his client, saying that would be a “standard request” in such an investigation.
Ronaldo’s lawyer, Peter S. Christiansen, said, “Mr. Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in Las Vegas in 2009 was consensual in nature, so it is not surprising that DNA would be present, nor that the police would make this very standard request as part of their investigation.”
His accuser, Kathryn Mayorga, filed a lawsuit in September 2018 claiming she was coerced into accepting a payoff of $375,000 in 2010 to buy her silence and is seeking to overturn the non-disclosure agreement she signed.
Las Vegas police announced in October they would reopen their investigation into the allegations.
Police responded to a call of sexual assault at the time of the alleged incident, a spokesman for the department told said in October. But the case was closed after “the victim did not provide detectives with the location of the incident or suspect description.”
Ronaldo denied the allegations in a statement on Twitter shortly after the lawsuit was filed.
“I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me,” the tweet read. “Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in. Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense.”
Juventus, the Italian football club Ronaldo plays for, also released a statement on Twitter at the time expressing support for the Portuguese player. The club praised Ronaldo for his “great professionalism and dedication.”
“The events allegedly dating back to almost 10 years ago do not change this opinion, which is shared by anyone who has come into contact with this great champion,” Juventus said on Twitter.
Ronaldo signed with Juventus in July of 2018, shortly after Portugal’s national team was eliminated from the 2018 World Cup. Juventus signed the Ronaldo for $131.5 million on a four-year contract, according to the Associated Press.