A lawyer for soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo said Thursday that Las Vegas police are seeking his client's DNA as part of their investigation into a decade-old rape allegation against him.
A Nevada woman, Kathryn Mayorga, filed a civil lawsuit in September claiming that the Juventus midfielder raped her in his hotel penthouse in 2009 and that she had been paid $375,000 to keep the assault secret.
The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed law enforcement official, initially reported that a warrant was sent to Italy that would compel Ronaldo to submit a DNA sample to see if it matches DNA found on the accuser's dress. Las Vegas police confirmed in a statement to The Associated Press that "an official request" was sent to Italy. Department spokeswoman Laura Meltzer said the request involved a warrant.
"Mr. Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in Las Vegas in 2009 was consensual in nature," attorney Peter S. Christiansen said in a statement, "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."
Mayorga reported the alleged attack to police in June 2009 and underwent a medical exam to collect DNA evidence. But the investigation ended a short time later because Las Vegas police say she only identified her attacker as a European soccer player -- not by name -- and did not say where the incident took place.
Ronaldo has not been served with the lawsuit, Christiansen said. The lawsuit and the criminal police investigation are on separate legal tracks. Authorities say that because Mayorga reported the alleged attack promptly, no law in Nevada prevents prosecutors from filing criminal sexual assault charges now if evidence of a crime is found.
Mayorga's attorneys, Leslie Mark Stovall and Larissa Drohobyczer, have no information about the police probe, Drohobyczer told AP Thursday.
Ronaldo, 33, is one of the most popular players in the world's most popular sport, having played for European giants Manchester United and Real Madrid before moving to Turin-based Juventus this past summer. He has scored 497 senior goals for his clubs as well as the Portuguese national team and has been awarded the Ballon d'Or -- symbolic of the world's best player -- five times, most recently in 2017.