Sunday, August 18, 2019 | ePaper

Brazil judge ends investigation of Neymar on rape allegation

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AP, Sao Paulo :
A Brazilian judge accepted a recommendation from prosecutors Thursday to close the investigation of soccer star Neymar on a rape allegation on the grounds of there being a lack of evidence against him.
Sao Paulo state prosecutors Flávia Merlini and Estefânia Paulin announced during the day that they agreed with a July 30 decision by police not to bring charges in the case. Judge Ana Paula Vieira de Moraes issued an order closing the case Thursday night.Brazilian model Najila Trindade went to Sao Paulo police to accuse Neymar of raping her at a Paris hotel in May. No complaint was filed with French police. The Associated Press doesn't name alleged sexual assault victims unless they make their identities public, which Trindade did in several interviews.
Neymar denied the accusation and said their relations were consensual. He is in France, where he plays for Paris Saint-Germain.
"We decided in favor of the closing of the case because there is no sufficient evidence," Merlini said at a news conference.
Paulin said the model did not produce any of the evidence she claimed she had, including a video that allegedly proved the player attacked her.
"The police investigator asked her to plug her phone to a computer so she could see the video, but she (Trindade) didn't want to do that. She also refused to hand over her phone, and later she said it had been stolen," Paulin said.
The prosecutor said Trindade's only injury was to a finger.
"The medical report of a private doctor introduced by the victim did not show an injury that proved she was raped," Paulin said. "The slaps and the redness (on Trindade's skin) happened for the satisfaction of both parties."
Representatives for Neymar and Trindade did not respond to an AP request for comment on the conclusions of the Sao Paulo state prosecutors.
Sao Paulo police are still investigating whether Trindade falsely reported a rape. Police interviewed Trindade three times about her claims. Twelve other people were also questioned. Neymar himself was heard for about five hours in mid-June.
Neymar, meanwhile, is still under investigation in a cybercrime case connected to Trindade's allegations. After the model offered the rape charges, he posted images and messages of the accuser without her authorization in his social media channels, in possible violation of her online privacy.
The player, who also testified in that investigation in Rio de Janeiro, said the images were posted by his press team.

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