Prosecutors recommend closing rape case against Neymar

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 09, 2019 07:34 AM
Prosecutors recommend closing rape case against Neymar
FILE - Brazil's soccer player Neymar takes part in a practice session at the Granja Comary training center ahead the Copa America tournament in Teresopolis, Brazil, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Leo Correa

By Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian prosecutors recommended Thursday that the investigation of soccer star Neymar on a rape allegation be closed, saying there is a lack of evidence.

Sao Paulo state prosecutors Flávia Merlini and Estefânia Paulin said they agree with a police decision of July 30 not to bring charges. A judge will make the final decision.

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. "That doesn't mean acquittal yet. There is still a possibility that the judge reopens the probe."

There is no deadline for a judge to rule. Few cases in Brazil are reopened after police and prosecutors suggest their closing.

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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