Judge accepts recommendation to end Neymar rape case
A Brazilian judge has accepted the recommendation of prosecutors to end the investigation into rape allegations against Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar due to a lack of evidence.
Investigators at the Sao Paulo police station where a Brazilian woman made the accusation in May confirmed on July 30 the case had been passed to public prosecutors after concluding an indictment was not possible.
Prosecutors have opted against pursuing the matter further, agreeing with the investigators' decision, and judge Ana Paula Vieira de Moraes closed the case.
"We decided in favour of closing the case because there is insufficient evidence," prosecutor Flavia Merlini said at a news conference.
"The police investigator asked her to plug her phone into a computer so she could see the video [supposedly showing an attack], but she [the alleged victim] didn't want to do that. She also refused to hand over her phone, and later she said it had been stolen," co-prosecutor Estefania Paulin added.
"The case will be closed as long as no new evidence is presented. If evidence comes up and we come to understand it is relevant and important, the case could be reopened."
Neymar vehemently denied claims he raped the woman in a Paris hotel room on May 15.
The alleged victim claimed to have exchanged messages with Neymar on social media before meeting him at the Sofitel Paris Arc Du Triomphe.
She said she returned to Brazil two days later, but was too emotionally shaken to report the incident until May 31.
In an attempt to clear his name, Neymar subsequently posted a video to Instagram in which he claimed the allegations were part of an extortion attempt, showing his WhatsApp history with someone purported to be his accuser.
Neymar could yet face action for cybercrime, as the video appeared to include intimate messages and images of another person, which is illegal under Brazilian law.
He testified in the investigation in Sao Paulo on June 7.