Brazil police end Neymar rape probe over lack of evidence
Brazilian police 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.
Yesterday, the police decision was sent to prosecutors, who will have 15 days to evaluate the case, a spokesman for the Attorney-General's office said.
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.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward 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 football-mad country for weeks, overshadowed Brazil's preparations for the Copa America.
Hosts Brazil went on to win South America's showcase tournament earlier this month without their biggest player, who was injured in a 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 televised 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 in the 20th minute, ruling him out of the tournament.
In the following weeks, Neymar was questioned by police over the WhatsApp messages.
He also appeared before police in Sao Paulo, where Trindade had filed her complaint at the end of May.
As the case dragged on, police filed a defamation suit against Trindade - who was dropped by multiple lawyers - after she insinuated the force was corrupt.
Despite the seriousness of the allegations, polls have shown that most Brazilians believe Neymar is innocent. - AFP
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