Brazil court allows prosecution of US swimmer Lochte

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FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2016 file photo, United States' swimmer Ryan Lochte checks his time in a men's 4x200-meter freestyle heat at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lochte's prosecution for filing a false police report during the 2016 Olympics is back on after a Brazilian court decision on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

SAO PAULO — The prosecution of U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte for filing a false police report during the 2016 Olympics is back on after a Brazilian court decision this week.

During the games in Rio de Janeiro, the 12-time Olympic medalist and former UF standout told NBC that he and fellow swimmers were robbed at gunpoint in a taxi by men with police badges as they returned to the Olympic Village from a party. But prosecutors said Lochte invented the story to cover up the swimmers’ vandalism of a gas station and an ensuing confrontation with security guards. The confrontation was captured by surveillance cameras at the gas station.

Lochte later acknowledged he was intoxicated at the time and his behavior led to the confrontation.

The initial claim appeared to confirm widespread fears before the Olympics that the event would be marred by rising crime rates in Rio de Janeiro, which has long struggled with violence. As Lochte’s version of events began to shift, many Brazilians became annoyed that a false story about crime drew so much attention, when the city had hosted the games without major problems.

The scandal drew international headlines and grew to overshadow the final days of the games. Lochte ended up serving a 10-month suspension from the U.S. national swim team for his behavior.

Last year, a court dismissed the case against Lochte, but the Superior Court of Justice reversed that decision Tuesday. Prosecutor Rodrigo de Almeida Maia said Thursday that the next step is for Lochte’s lawyers to present their defense. Lochte does not have to appear in person to defend himself, de Almeida Maia said.

Steve Lochte, the swimmer’s father, said by telephone that he had no comment and directed questions to his son or his son’s lawyers.

Jeff Ostrow, a lawyer who has represented Lochte in the past, did not immediately respond to an email and a voicemail message seeking comment. It was not clear if he would represent Lochte in this case.

6 COMMENTS

  1. So what??? He should never go to Brazil again and spend nothing on defending himself. It was very stupid and since we know the truth he has paid a large price for his stupidity. I wonder why Brazil has money to do this, surely they have real criminals to work on.

  2. This is a 3rd world corrupt government. He told the truth at 1st then because of the medias attack on him he started his mea culpa . It was a fact that the guards were off duty cops that demanded money from him and his fellow athletes(extortion) or they wouldnt let them leave. this garbage about vandalism is bogus, there was a poster already partially falling down that he pulled down but had nothing to do with the holdup. In fact another athlete who didnt get out of that slum hole got taken to court where a judge extorted 10K from him , forcing him to pay it to a “charity”. A judge in this country who would do that would be impeached! But thats how 3rd world nations operate, you must always be paying off people for trumped up charges! Now Lochte is paying the price for be cowed by the marxist media into doing the “im sorry” route rather than sticking to his story! Now the corrupt Brazilian courts are going to make him pay!