Brazilian police decline to charge Neymar with rape

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Sao Paulo, July 30 (IANS) Brazilian police have found insufficient evidence to charge soccer star Neymar with rape in connection with an encounter that occurred two months ago in Paris.

Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, citing an unnamed source, has reported that Inspector Juliana Lopes Bussacos declined to press charges against Neymar after identifying contradictions in the account of accuser Najila Trindade Mendes de Souza.

Prosecutors, however, have two weeks to decide whether to accept the police recommendation, to pursue additional investigations or to seek an indictment of Neymar, reports Efe news.

At the beginning of this month, Bussacos was granted another 30 days to complete the investigation, as she was still waiting for footage from security cameras at the hotel where the alleged assault took place and for a medical report from Mendes’ personal gynecologist.

Yet the inspector apparently concluded the probe without ever seeing the security tapes or the doctor’s report.

And in the last few days, prosecutors moved to consolidate the rape investigation with three other probes related to the case: Neymar’s diffusion on social media of intimate photos of Mendes; extortion allegations by the star’s father against lawyers for the alleged victim; and the possible theft from the accuser’s home of a mobile device she said held images supporting her claims.

Mendes, a 26-year-old model, met Neymar via Instagram.

The star footballer, who plays professionally for Paris Saint-Germain, paid for Mendes to travel to the French capital and for her accommodation at the hotel where the alleged rape took place on May 15.

The model acknowledged in an interview that she went to Paris to have sex with the striker, but said she changed her mind at the last minute because Neymar didn’t have a condom.

After the accusation, Neymar, who insisted the sex was consensual, published a video of himself in conversation with Mendes as well as intimate photos of her.

Neymar said he posted the material to show that Mendes continued to interact normally with him following the purported sexual assault.

Though the video and photos were taken down quickly, Brazilian authorities began investigating Neymar for possible violation of online-privacy laws.

PSG paid a record transfer fee of 222 million euros ($263 million) to obtain Neymar from Barcelona in August 2017.

–IANS

aak/bc

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