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Monday March 18th, 2019 9:54PM

Lawyer: Vegas police seek Ronaldo DNA in rape investigation

By The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo is being asked by police in the U.S. to provide a DNA sample in an ongoing investigation of a Nevada woman's allegation that he raped her in his Las Vegas hotel penthouse in 2009, the soccer star's lawyer in Las Vegas said Thursday.

Attorney Peter S. Christiansen downplayed the development, denied the rape allegation and provided no additional details.

He did not immediately confirm a Wall Street Journal report citing an unnamed law enforcement source saying that Las Vegas police obtained a warrant that was sent to Italy to obtain a DNA sample from the 33-year-old Ronaldo, who plays for the Turin-based club Juventus.

"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," Christiansen said.

Las Vegas police declined comment, said Officer Laura Meltzer, a department spokeswoman.

The police case was closed in 2009 when the alleged victim, Kathryn Mayorga, declined to name her assailant.

The police investigation was reopened at Mayorga's request last August, shortly before the former model and schoolteacher filed a civil lawsuit in state court claiming that Ronaldo raped her and that she had been paid $375,000 to keep it secret.

The Associated Press does not generally name people who say they are victims of sex crimes. But Mayorga gave consent through her lawyers to make her name public.

Ronaldo has not been served with the lawsuit, Christiansen said. The lawsuit is on and the criminal police investigation are on separate legal tracks.

Mayorga's attorneys, Leslie Mark Stovall and Larissa Drohobyczer, have no information about the police probe, Drohobyczer said Thursday.

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