Defending Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, the country’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa appealed to the public on a television channel on Saturday to the presumption of innocence, as well as Ronaldo’s successful career. Ronaldo has been accused of sexual harassment.
“People need to understand once and for all that there’s one thing that is a presumption of innocence,” Costa said, adding that, “It is not enough for someone to be accused of something to be guilty of it,” as quoted by a leading news agency.
Costa added: “If there’s something we have proof of is that he is an extraordinary professional, an extraordinary sportsman, an extraordinary footballer, and someone who has honored and given prestige to Portugal, and certainly what we all wish for is that nothing can ever stain that record of Ronaldo.”
The past week, Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit in the US saying she was raped by Ronaldo in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009. Police have re-opened an investigation.
Denying the allegations made against him, Cristiano Ronaldo said that the sex was consensual.
A German news magazine had reported that Ronaldo had raped a woman in Las Vegas in 2009. He also paid the woman a hefty sum to the tune of $375,000 to never speak about that night. Ronaldo was accused of rape one-and-a-half years ago but has maintained his innocence since.