Cops close rape investigation against Brazilian superstar over lack of evidence
Sao Paulo: Police in Brazil probing rape allegations against football superstar Neymar have closed the case due to a lack of evidence, the Sao Paulo attorney general's office said on Monday. The police decision was sent to prosecutors yesterday, who will have 15 days to evaluate the case, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office told AFP.
Judge to make final ruling
A final ruling on the case will be made by a judge. A spokesman for Neymar said he was not able to comment on the police decision. Sao Paulo police are due to hold a news conference. Neymar has vehemently denied allegations he raped a Brazilian woman in a Paris hotel in May.
The ugly affair, which has dominated headlines and conversations in the soccer-mad country for weeks, overshadowed Brazil's preparations for the Copa America. Neymar was injured in a warm-up friendly before the opening match. The scandal blew up on June 2 when Neymar published a seven-minute video on Instagram, where he had first been in contact with Najila Trindade, revealing that he had been accused of rape.
In an attempt to defend himself against the allegations, Neymar's video was accompanied by WhatsApp messages and images of his encounter with Trindade — without her consent, possibly breaking Brazilian law.
The drama quickly snowballed. Extracts of a TV interview with Trindade, in which she accused Neymar of "aggression together with rape," aired just one hour before he was about to enter the pitch for the pre-Copa game between Brazil and Qatar. Neymar tore his right ankle ligament, ruling him out of the tournament. In the following weeks, Neymar was questioned by police over the WhatsApp messages
As the case dragged on, police filed a defamation suit against Trindade after she insinuated the force was corrupt. "The police are bought, aren't they? Or am I crazy?" she told television channel SBT last month in response to questions over the police investigation.