Neymar rape accuser’s lawyer may withdraw from case

Latin America (HRNW): The lawyer of a woman who accused the Brazilian footballer Neymar of rape said he may drop the case unless his client can provide more evidence. Laywer Danilo Garcia de Andrade said he told model Najila Trindade to show him a full recording of a second encounter she had with Neymar. But Ms Trindade said the tablet holding the recording was stolen from her home. Neymar has strongly denied the rape allegations, and maintains that the two had consensual sex. Mr Andrade said he had asked his client for all the evidence she holds. The video was allegedly secretly filmed by Ms Trindade on the day after the alleged rape and its full version is reportedly seven minutes long.

Ms Trindade has said it contains evidence which would back up her allegation that she was raped by Neymar during a previous meeting in a Paris hotel room on 15 May. A one-minute clip from the video, which showed an altercation in a bedroom purportedly between the two, was broadcast on Brazil’s TV Record last week. In it, the woman can be heard shouting “Do you know why I’m going to hit you? Do you know why? Because you assaulted me yesterday.” It is not clear what the remaining six minutes of video contain but Mr Andrade told Brazilian media that his client had told him that she recorded the footage because she felt she needed “proof of the assault”. ACcording to Ms Trindade, the tablet she used to film the images was stolen during a burglary at her home in Brazil, but the owners of the building where she lives denied there was a forced break-in at the property.

Mr Andrade has now threatened to drop the case if police conclude that there was no burglary. “The attorney-client relationship is based always on trust,” he told Brazil’s UOL Esporte. “If there is no trust, then there is no reason to stay on.” Mr Andrade said he had also set his client a deadline by which to show him any evidence she holds. Ms Trindade said she has several photographs which proved the alleged assault, as well as records of WhatsApp conversations in which she recounted what had happened to a friend. She said that some of that evidence was locked in a safe and that she had not yet shown it to Mr Andrade or anyone else. Despite his threat to walk away if his deadline was not met, Mr Andrade told Brazilian media that he trusted the veracity of his client’s account.

Ms Trindade’s original lawyers walked away from her case after she filed a rape allegation with police in São Paulo. They said that her initial complaint had been one of “aggression” or “physical violence” by Neymar. Her first legal team said the rape allegation she had filed was “incompatible with the strategy” they had agreed, and parted company with her. In a TV interview, she accused them of being “prejudiced” and not fully believing her. Neymar has strongly denied the rape allegations, saying that the relationship between him and Ms Trindade was consensual. In a video he posted on his Instagram page, he said he was the victim of an extortion attempt. He also showed what he said were a series of WhatsApp messages with Ms Trindade, including intimate photographs of her. Police in Rio de Janeiro were investigating whether Neymar had committed a crime by posting the intimate pictures online without her consent. The footballer said he had had to make them public to “prove that nothing really happened”. Neymar’s lawyer, Maira Freita, said that she had “full confidence that we will prove my client is innocent”.

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