CRISTIANO Ronaldo could face his rape accuser in court after a judge dramatically ruled against the soccer ace.
Kathryn Mayorga, 35, claims she was mentally unfit when she took £290,000 from the Portuguese star in a non-disclosure agreement in 2010.
And she wants to pursue a new civil claim against him through the US courts for another £165,000 in damages, alleging he attacked her in a Las Vegas hotel room.
Ronaldo's US lawyers had tried to get her bid dismissed, saying Mayorga was well enough to settle the case first time around.
But a judge in Las Vegas has now ruled against him, ordering a trial date be set to decide the issue by December.
Mayorga claims Juventus ace Ronaldo, 35, attacked her in June 2009 at the Vegas Palms Casino Resort.
Ronaldo has always fiercely denied Mayorga's claims, branding them "fake news".
The model was working in the resort's nightclub and met the star in the venue's VIP area.
After going back to his penthouse suite, Mayorga claims Ronaldo invited her into a hot tub on his balcony in the early hours.
She alleges Ronaldo walked in on her changing and exposed himself – before asking her to perform a sex act.
Court papers say Mayorga kissed him but refused to engage in a sex act on the condition he would let her go.
They add: "Cristiano Ronaldo pulled the plaintiff into a bedroom and on to a bed and attempted to engage in sexual intercourse.
Mayorga says she refused, tried to cover herself and then screamed: "No."
The papers add: “When Cristiano Ronaldo completed the sexual assault, he allowed her to leave the bedroom stating he was sorry, he was usually a gentleman.”
Mayorga reported the alleged crime to Las Vegas cops the next day but refused to name Ronaldo.
She later decided to prosecute and signed the non-disclosure agreement in January 2010.
But in September 2018, as the #MeToo movement broke out, Mayorga broke the agreement by giving an interview.
Las Vegas Police reopened the case but prosecutors later announced Ronaldo would not be facing criminal charges as the claims "cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt".
Mayorga decided to pursue a civil case against Ronaldo, seeking damages of £165,000.
The Sun can reveal new papers filed at the US District Court of Nevada show the latest twist in the pair's court fight.
'LACKED MENTAL CAPACITY'
In the filings, Judge Jennifer Dorsey ruled: "I find that Mayorga’s challenge that she lacked the mental capacity to assent to the settlement agreement is not arbitrable…
"Mayorga did not comply with the correct procedure to request a jury trial of the mental-capacity issue, so I direct the parties to prepare to adjudicate it in a bench trial.
"Because the proper venue for resolving Mayorga’s claims on their merits hinges on the mental-capacity issue, I deny without prejudice Ronaldo’s motion to dismiss them."
Ronaldo had argued that "Mayorga cannot show that she lacked the mental capacity to assent to the settlement agreement."
However the judge state: "Mayorga provides written statements from both a psychiatrist and a therapist who treated her within the past five years about the alleged sexual assault and opine that she lacked capacity to contract at the time she signed the settlement agreement.
Mayorga provides written statements from both a psychiatrist and a therapist who treated her within the past five years about the alleged sexual assault and opine that she lacked capacity to contract at the time she signed the settlement agreement.
"She also offers a written statement from a therapist who treated her shortly after the alleged assault and thereafter for many years."
Ronaldo had also requested that all of Mayorga's claims go to arbitration.
While the judge ruled that Mayorga's mental capacity be decided at trial, her claims that the settlement was illegal and violated public policy will be decided by arbitrators.
The former model had also requested that her brother Jason be appointed as her legal guardian for the case as she has "difficulty understanding and making decisions" – but this was rejected by the judge.
She wrote: "As evidence of Mayorga’s incompetence, Jason provides his own declaration and declarations from Mayorga and her mother who all attest that Mayorga has difficulty understanding and making decisions about things due to certain disabilities and is unable to assist her counsel in this matter due to the severity of emotions that it causes her to feel."
"Jason also provides a written statement from a therapist who has seen Mayorga who states that she believes that appointing a guardian for Mayorga in this case is a good idea.
"While significant, I find that this is not substantial evidence that Mayorga is incompetent under Nevada law."
Ronaldo and Mayorga's legal teams now have until November 30 to meet and set a date for the bench trial.
The ex-teacher has previously claimed she agreed to the “hush money” settlement with Ronaldo as she felt intimidated to take the cash rather than stand up to a celebrity in court.
Mayorga says that she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder at the time and was in no fit state to be signing such a confidentiality agreement.
She claims she experienced “intrusive thoughts, extreme anxiety and fearfulness” during the negotiations, according to previous court docs.
Referring to the allegations, Ronaldo has previously tweeted: "I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me.
"Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in.
"Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense."
The dad-of-four followed that tweet with a further message saying he had a completely "clear conscience."
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