Brazilian judge accepts recommendation to close Neymar rape case
A Brazilian judge accepted a recommendation from prosecutors Thursday to close the investigation of football star Neymar on a rape allegation on the grounds of there being a lack of evidence against him.
Sao Paulo state prosecutors Flavia Merlini and Estefania 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."
Neymar posted on Instagram on Friday, saying: "this has been a stage in my life I'll never forget for many reasons. Mainly for the damage it has caused me, my family and the people who really know me. If I'm being honest, I can't say I'm happy, more relieved. This scar will remind me that human beings can do good things, but also the worst.
"Yes, my world has come crashing down and hit the ground. But as a jiu-jitsu legend once said: the ground is the final of everything, but for us it's just the beginning.
"I hope it isn't just a new beginning for me but for all those who have suffered from false accusations and, above all, for every woman who has been a victim such an act. I wish for them to be strong, to fight and to achieve everything they deserve to. As always, thank you God for everything."
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.