A US district judge in Las Vegas has dismissed a rape lawsuit against football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, castigating the legal team behind the complaint.
Judge Jennifer Dorsey threw out the case brought by Kathryn Mayorga of Nevada, who alleged she was assaulted by the Portuguese soccer star in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.
In a 42-page ruling released Friday, the judge accused Mayorga’s attorneys of “abuses and flagrant circumvention of the proper litigation process” and said that as a result, “Mayorga loses her opportunity to pursue this case.”
Her attorneys had actually moved to dismiss the case voluntarily last month, US media said, but Dorsey decided that their repeated use of illicitly obtained confidential documents meant the case had to be dismissed “with prejudice” — meaning it cannot be revived.
“Nothing less than a with-prejudice dismissal will purge the taint that has permeated this case from its very inception and preserve the integrity of the litigation process,” Dorsey wrote.
Mayorga filed a complaint in September last year alleging she was sexually assaulted by Ronaldo, who strongly denied the accusations.
Mayorga said that while she had agreed to a financial settlement with Ronaldo shortly after the alleged incident — reportedly for $375,000 — her emotional trauma at the time did not allow her to participate in the mediation process.
But in trying to revive the case, Dorsey found, Mayorga’s lawyer Leslie Stovall made repeated use of “cyber-hacked attorney-client privileged documents.”
That use of the documents was “bad faith,” the judge ruled, “and simply disqualifying Stovall will not cure the prejudice to Ronaldo, because the misappropriated documents and their confidential contents have been woven into the very fabric of Mayorga’s claims.”
Ronaldo is one of the biggest stars of world football and is a five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player.
Manchester City and France footballer Benjamin Mendy has been charged with a further count of rape, it was announced Wednesday following the lifting of reporting restrictions.
The latest allegation, which relates to a new complainant, means the 27-year-old has now been accused of eight counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape, relating to seven young women.
Mendy pleaded not guilty last month to the prior charges. The latest has not yet been put to him in a court.
The media had been banned from publishing the latest charge, but that restriction was lifted by judge Steven Everett during a hearing at Chester Crown Court in northwest England on Wednesday.
A Makurdi High Court in Benue State has acquitted Andrew Ogbuja, a lecturer at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, accused of raping and causing the death of Ochanya Ogbanje, a 13-year-old schoolgirl, in 2018.
Justice Augustine Ityonyiman acquitted Ogbuja of the charges filed against him on Wednesday while delivering judgment on the case at the court in the state capital.
Ogbuja and his son, Victor, who are both maternal relations of the victim, were accused of serially raping her until she fell ill and subsequently died.
Ochanya was admitted to the Federal Medical Centre in Makurdi for two months before she died on October 17, 2018.
On October 10, 2019, the Benue State government arraigned 54-year-old Ogbuja before the Makurdi High Court on four counts of rape and Ochanya’s death.
Delivering judgment on the case, Justice Ityonyiman held that the prosecution failed to prove the four counts against Mr Ogbuja.
He explained that the police investigators failed to subject the defendant to medical examination, in order to match his specimen with the findings in the medical reports that were presented before the court.
In evaluating the evidence, the judge held that two autopsy reports from the Federal Medical Centre in Makurdi and the Nigerian Police Forensic Laboratory in Lagos left him quandary.
“I cannot pick and choose which of the autopsy reports to rely on in reaching a just conclusion of this case,” he said.
Justice Ityonyiman added that while the autopsy report from the Medical Centre in Makurdi said Miss Ochanya died of “natural cause”, the one from the police forensic laboratory revealed that the deceased “suffered diseases that were related to sexual abuse.”
Despite narrating her ordeals at the hands of the Ogbujas in a video tendered before the court, he said, “it is regrettable that the deceased could not tell her story before she died.”
“I hereby acquit and discharge the defendant of all the four count-charge.”
Elsewhere, Justice Mobolaji Olajunwo of the Federal High Court in Makurdi convicted Ogbuja’s wife, Mrs Felicia, for negligence in the rape of the deceased.
Felicia, on her part, was arraigned by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) over negligence that led to the rape and death of Ochanya.
The anti-trafficking agency accused Mrs Ogbuja of failing in her duty to protect the deceased from being raped by her husband and son.
In Mrs Ogbuja’s case which coincided with that of her husband, Justice Olajunwo held that the defendant failed in her duty to protect Ochanya from ‘being sexually abused by her son, Victor’.
According to her, the victim was being abused by Felicia’s son but the defendant who owed the girl the duty of care to ensure that she was protected from such an act failed in doing so, even when her daughter, Winifred, drew her attention to the sexual assault.
The judge said the defendant made it impossible for the NAPTIP investigating officer to see and interrogate Winifred in the course of the investigation of the matter.
Agreeing with the prosecution, she said “the evidence that Ochanya told the defendant (Mrs Ogbuja) about what was going on, and was not successfully challenged,” proved NAPTIP’s case.
Justice Olajunwo also held that Felicia failed to challenge the prosecution’s evidence that she “threatened to send Ochanya out of her house if she told anyone about the sexual abuse.
“This evidence has neither been challenged nor controverted. The defendant failed to perform her duty as it concerned the well-being of Ochanya, particularly as it comes to her protection from being sexually abused.”
“The fourth prosecution witness, in his testimony, said Ochanya upon been presented for medical examination complained of passing urine uncontrollably and had serious pain in the lower abdomen.
“When Ochanya was examined, it was discovered that the membrane covering the vagina opening was not there, which is an indication that Ochanya had been disvirgined,” the judge stated while recalling the prosecution’s evidence.
Before sentencing the convict, Felicia’s lawyer, Abel Onoja, pleaded for leniency and called two witnesses in frantic efforts to save his client.
But Justice Olajunwo sentenced Mrs Ogbuja to five months imprisonment without an option of a fine, after listening to her lawyer’s plea for clemency.
“Taking into consideration the testimonies of witnesses that testified to the defendant’s character, the number of months contained in the law shall be reduced by the court.
“Therefore, the defendant is sentenced to five months imprisonment with no option of fine,” she held.
Search For Education
Miss Ochanya, in search of a sound education, had left her rural home at Ogene-Amejo for Ugbokolo township where she lived with the Ogbujas. Mrs Ogbuja is said to be Ochanya’s maternal relation.
The Ogbujas residence, where they lived with the deceased, was said to be located on a street almost opposite the Emmanuel Primary and Secondary School where Ochanya obtained her primary education in Ugbokolo, Benue State.
Ochanya, who was a JSS1 pupil of the Federal Government Girls College Gboko in Benue State, died of complications linked to the alleged serial rape by Mr Ogbuja and his fugitive son.
Mr Ogbuja was later arraigned on four counts of sexual abuse of the late Ochanya during a period of over five years, which resulted in her death in October 2018.
The father and son allegedly abused the late Ochanya while she was living with them. But the son, Victor, disappeared after police started looking for him and his father over the case.
Doctors later diagnosed Ochanya with Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF) – a disease attributed to the serial rape allegedly by the two men.
An Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Ikot Ekpene has sentenced a 31-year-old man, Nsikak Udofia, to death for armed robbery and life imprisonment for rape.
A native of Utu Edem Usung in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, Udofia was convicted by Justice Augustine Odokwo, after being found guilty of robbery and rape.
The convict, a secondary school dropout, and others now at large were said to have “robbed a shoe meander, one Gabriel Akpan Victor, of his torchlight, two knives, a roll of black thread, two palm slippers and a cash sum of two N2,350 while on his way home from work on 31st December 2017.”
Three weeks after, the convict was also said to have raped a 16-year-old Senior Secondary School two student in an uncompleted building in Utu Edem Usung, Ikot Ekpene on 21st January 2018.
Delivering judgement which lasted for two hours, the trial judge, Justice Augustine Odokwo found the accused guilty of the two-count charge, which is punishable under Section(1) sub-(1) of the Robbery and Firearms Special Provisions Act, Laws of the Federation and Section 367 of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Laws of Akwa Ibom State, 2000.
The court held that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused person committed the offenses.
In the first count charge of robbery, Justice Odokwo sentenced Nsikak Udofia to death by hanging, praying to God to have mercy on his soul.
In the second count charge of rape, the Court held that Nsikak Udofia shall serve a life sentence in Ikot Ekpene Correctional Centre.
Justice Odokwo held that “the sentence is to run consecutively as the offense of rape is prevalent in Ikot Ekpene.”
He ordered the Clerk of the Court to keep in her safe custody, all the exhibits pending appeal, if any, and return them to the parties that tendered the exhibits, if, after the period allowed for appeal, no notice of appeal is filed.
Channels Television observed that the convict wept in the courtroom, begging the judge to temper justice with mercy on him.
A 23-year-old boy, Ikenna James, has been arrested by men of Ogun State Police Command for allegedly raping and killing his 29 years old neighbor Oluwatoshin Adefisayo, a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University.
The Ogun State police spokesperson Abimbola Oyeyemi confirmed this in a press statement issued in Abeokuta, the state capital
He said that the suspect, who lives in the same compound with the late Adefisayo, bargained with his friend – who is now at large – and they broke into the apartment of the deceased in the night through the ceiling while she was fast asleep, raped and then strangled her.
“The neighbors including the parents of the suspect woke up in the morning only to discover that the apartment of the deceased had been broken into. The neighbors there and then invited the local vigilante to the scene, and while at the scene, Ikenna was seen coming down from the ceiling where he has been hiding after the dastardly act.
“He was quickly held down while a distress call was made to the police at Ogijo Divisional headquarters,” the public relations officer explained.
He said that in the strength of the complaint, the Divisional Police Officer, Ogijo Division, CSP Onatufeh Umoh, quickly led his men to the scene and got the suspect arrested.
“On interrogation, Ikenna James, whose partner in crime has run away confessed to the commission of the crime, also informed the police that they decided to kill the victim after raping her because they discovered that she recognized them.”
“Ikenna’s parents, who described his arrest as good radiance to bad rubbish, said they have already given up on him as he is the black sheep of the family. They also appealed to the authority concerned to ensure that appropriate punishment is awarded to him,” the police added.
The state Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, has however ordered the immediate transfer of the suspect to the homicide section of the state criminal investigation and intelligence department for further investigation. He also directed that his accomplice be hunted for and brought to book.
Manchester United forward, Mason Greenwood has been removed from the video game console, FIFA 22, by makers EA sports.
Greenwood had been arrested on suspicion of rape and assault on Sunday after video, photos and an audio recording were posted on the woman’s Instagram account, together with accusations of violent assault, before being deleted.
An initial statement by United said: “We are aware of images and allegations circulating on social media. We will not make any further comments until the facts have been established. Manchester United does not condone violence of any kind.”
High-profile United players, Cristiano Ronaldo, David de Gea, and Paul Pogba were quick to distance themselves from the embattled youngster by unfollowing him across social media platforms.
According to reports, EA Sports on Tuesday during its database release update for FIFA 22 on all platforms, including PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, excluded the 20-year-old from all offline modes in the game with immediate effect.
Despite the exclusion, the Englishman’s FIFA 22 Ultimate Team item still remains active,
Footwear manufacturing brand, Nike followed suit by also suspending their partnership with Greenwood following his arrest.
In a statement to the BBC, Nike said: “We have suspended our relationship with Mason Greenwood.
“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
Manchester police had also launched an investigation into the arrest of “a man,” who had been arrested on the suspicion of rape and assault as under English law, alleged and actual victims of sexual offences cannot be named.
Singer Chris Brown is being sued for rape in California, with his alleged victim claiming he drugged her and attacked her on a yacht at rap mogul Diddy’s Florida home.
The woman, identified in court papers only as Jane Doe, is demanding $20 million in damages from the R&B star.
According to the civil suit, which was filed on Thursday and seen by AFP, Brown invited the woman — described as a choreographer, dancer, model and musical artist — to the yacht shortly after she arrived in Miami on December 30, 2020.
She says the drink he offered her there made her feel “disoriented (and) physically unstable.”
The filing says Brown led her into a bedroom where, despite her protests, he raped her.
“The traumatic events that Plaintiff Jane Doe experienced shock the conscience and should horrify all of us,” says the suit, filed in Los Angeles.
“The time has come to send a message to Defendant Chris Brown that enough is enough.
“Accordingly, Plaintiff Jane Doe brings this complaint seeking justice for herself (and also with the hope it may serve as an example for others) who may now or have in the past found themselves at the mercy of Defendant Chris Brown.”
Italy’s highest court has upheld former Brazil forward Robinho’s nine-year sentence for the gang rape of a young woman, the victim’s lawyer said on Wednesday.
Judges at the Court of Cassation in Rome confirmed the sentence for the offence which dates back to January 2013, when the 37-year-old was playing for AC Milan.
Jacopo Gnocchi said that judges “deemed that the appeal filed by the player was inadmissible and that therefore the sentence is final”.
Robinho, who did not attend any of the hearings relating to the case, was among a group of six men accused of taking part in the rape of an Albanian woman celebrating her 23rd birthday in a Milan nightclub.
“A total of 15 Italian magistrates consider the accusations to have been widely proven. Our wish is that Brazil carries out the sentence,” Gnocchi added.
Robinho, capped 100 times for Brazil, had his 2017 conviction and sentence confirmed for a second time after also losing at the Milan Court of Appeal in December 2020.
According to the complaint Robinho, along with five others, made the young woman drink “to the point of rendering her unconscious and unable to resist” and then had “sexual relations several times in a row” with her.
In March 2021 the Milan court published its reasoning for upholding the original conviction, saying that Robinho acted with “special contempt for the victim, who was brutally humiliated”.
In October 2020 Robinho was forced to abandon a move back to his first club Santos amid pressure put on the Brazilian giants by sponsors.
Television channel Globo Sports had released excerpts of a recording Italian prosecutors used to secure their conviction, in which the player purportedly says: “I’m laughing because I don’t care. The woman was completely drunk. She doesn’t even know what happened.”
Robinho started his career at Santos in 2002 and joined Real Madrid in 2005, then went on to play for Manchester City from 2008 to 2010, and Milan for four years until 2014.
He also played in China with Guangzhou Evergrande, Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, and Turkish club İstanbul Basaksehir.
Adam who subsequently invited her into his apartment to supposedly do chores overpowered and raped her.
“Immediately she got in he turned on the power generating set and then after a while, we started hearing her screams,” one of the girls said.
“We were worried so we went and knocked very hard on the door but he wouldn’t open and when he eventually opened we asked what the matter was but he rebuffed us saying all was well and that she was busy with her chores.
“We insisted that we want to see her but he declined to say she was busy. Then we saw her crying and cursing him for what he did to her; she said she’d rather die than go home and bring shame to her family.”
After the incident, the victim committed suicide by stabbing herself with a knife; one of her friends confirmed the development to Channels Television on Wednesday.
The deceased teenage girl displaced by the conflict lives with her parents in the Kaleri area in Maiduguri.
The Executive Director of Women in the New Nigeria and Youth Empowerment Initiative, a local NGO, Comrade Lucy Yunana also confirmed this on Wednesday.
The matter was reported to Yunana who visited the Gwange Police Station where the suspect was taken upon arrest.
“When the matter was reported to my office we immediately contacted the police and as I speak to you the matter has been transferred to the state CID,” he said.
“We thank the Police Commissioner for his swift action; I personally interviewed the perpetrator, his action is unbecoming of an NGO worker.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Sani Kamilu also confirmed the incident which he said was reported on January 18.
“Preliminary investigations have shown that the shouting of the deceased attracted the attention of people. We have arrested him, he is in our custody and investigations are ongoing,” Kamilu stated.
“The suspect opened the door and the girl was alleged to have complained bitterly about her virginity which the suspect had taken, after which she rushed inside and took a knife with which she stabbed herself.”
A South Korean opposition party distanced itself Tuesday from comments made by its presidential candidate’s wife, in which she expressed strong support for a former politician currently in prison for rape.
The socially conservative country has been rocked in recent years by a #MeToo movement in which women working for prominent politicians made multiple sexual assault allegations.
The movement has met an at-times misogynistic backlash, with widespread vilification of feminist campaigners and some high-profile women.
South Koreans will elect a new president in March, with the two leading candidates currently neck and neck in the polls.
People Power Party candidate Yoon Suk-Yeol’s wife made her controversial comments in a phone conversation with a reporter, which was recorded and released this weekend after a court battle.
In the conversation, Kim Keon-hee came to the defence of Ahn Hee-Jung, a former presidential contender convicted of raping his secretary on multiple occasions. Ahn was jailed for three-and-a-half years.
“I feel really sorry for Ahn. My husband and I are strongly on Ahn’s side,” the potential first lady said in the phone call.
Noting allegations against Democratic Party members, she also suggested sexual assault survivors only speak out if they are not paid enough.
“Conservatives make sure to pay,” she said. “That’s why we don’t see #MeToo happening here… #MeToo cases happen when you don’t pay your dues.”
The secretary who came forward with allegations against Ahn in 2018, and whose testimony helped send him to jail, demanded “a sincere apology” for the comments.
“Your thoughtless remarks have become the seed of second victimisation,” Kim Ji-eun said in a statement released Monday.
The People Power Party, for which Yoon is the nominee, had sought to block the airing of the phone conversations with a court injunction, which was thrown out Friday.
A local television channel broadcast the comments over the weekend.
The party downplayed the comments on Tuesday, with party chairman Lee Jun-Seok saying in a radio interview that they were “an expression of personal views”.
While South Korea is the world’s 10th-largest economy and a leading technological power, it remains a patriarchal society with predominantly conservative social mores.
Yoon, a former top prosecutor, is locked in a tight race with ruling-party candidate Lee Jae-Myung with the polling gap between the candidates often falling within the margin for error.
Incumbent President Moon Jae-in is legally barred from seeking a second term and is scheduled to step down in May.
A pastor, Peter Taiwo and his wife, Elizabeth Taiwo have been arrested for allegedly conniving to defile a 16 years old choir member of the church in Alaja Oke, Saje area of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Ogun State, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the suspects were nabbed following a complaint lodged at Adatan divisional headquarters by the victim.
It was gathered that the victim went to the church for choir practice when the pastor’s wife called her and told her to go and meet him in their room to send her on an errand.
As soon as the teenager got into the room, the police spokesman said the pastor’s wife locked the door from outside, consequent upon which the pastor overpowered her, and forcefully had sex with her.
“She explained further that the pastor’s wife later came in after her husband has satisfied himself and met her crying and she told her to stop crying as she is now a woman, she then warned her never to tell anybody or else she will die,” the police spokesman said.
“Upon the report, the DPO Adatan division, SP Salaudeen Abiodun, quickly detailed his detectives to the scene, where the randy pastor and his wife were promptly apprehended.”
According to the police authorities, the couple confessed to the crime upon interrogation and blamed the devil for it.
While they pleaded for forgiveness from the victim, the teenager has been taken to hospital by the police for medical treatment.
Reacting to the incident, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Lanre Bankole, has ordered the transfer of the suspects to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation, with the view to charging them to court as soon as investigation is concluded.