Portuguese sensation Cristiano Ronaldo made a triumphant return to Manchester United. In his re-debut game against Newcastle United of the English Premier League 2021, Ronaldo scored a brace at Old Trafford, as his side won 4-1.

However, during the game, fans were reminded of Ronaldo’s past controversy. A plane flew above Manchester and Old Trafford, carrying a banner, “Believe Kathryn Mayorga”.

The banner was flown by feminist group Level Up to “disrupt the fanfare”. Its co-director stated that it was a message to the “fans worldwide that rape can’t be kicked off the pitch”.

It happened to be a reminder to the fans that Ronaldo was charged for rape by American model Kathryn Mayorga, as the latter had alleged that she had been raped by the former at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009. However, a decade later, prosecutors in the United States of America claimed that charges could not be pressed against the Portuguese, while he had denied the charges as well.

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It was also reported that Mayorga had done an out-of-court settlement in 2010 with Ronnie, as she was paid £288,000 not to publicise the allegations. However, she decided to reopen the case in 2018 following the #MeToo movement.

Nevertheless, after an investigation, Las Vegas police said that the allegations “cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt”, and charges won’t be pressed against him. Also, a local district attorney added that she had denied admitting where the incident happened, or the name of the violator, and police was, therefore, unable “to conduct any meaningful investigation”.

Although Ronaldo had not denied the meeting between the two, he had stated that the encounter was purely consensual. “I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in,” he had said in a tweet in 2018.

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