Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger are all on their way home after a week in Brazil that they will not soon forget.
The group made up three-fourths of an American contingent of swimmers accused of vandalizing a gas station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil early on Sunday morning, after the conclusion of the swimming events at the 2016 Olympic Games, and then filing a false report to police that they were robbed at gun point. Brazilian authorities say that the swimmers paid 100 Brazilian reals (about $33 USD) and $20 in U.S. currency and left before police could arrive at the gas station. The gas station owners had not pressed charges over the vandalism as of Thursday.
Bentz and Conger, who were not indicted by Brazilian police, but were pulled from their initial flight home on Wednesday to be questioned as witnesses, touched down in their initial American destination in Miami on Friday morning at 6:30AM. Their attorney, Sergio Riera, insisted to The Associated Press that they had nothing to do with Lochte’s story and were “heard only as witnesses.”
Meanwhile, Feigen’s attorney said this morning that he had reached an agreement with a Brazilian judge where he would donate 35,000 Brazilian reals ($10,800 USD) to an “institution” and be allowed to leave the country later in the day on Friday. Earlier this week, Feigen’s passport was ordered to be revoked to force him to remain in the country while more clarity on the matter was sought.
While no specific “institution” was named as the benefactor of the money, it’s presumed to mean charity. It is allowed under Brazilian law to avoid charges for minor offenses by making charitable donations.
The United States Olympic Committee issued a statement on the matter on Thursday in which they said they did not condone the swimmers’ actions, and where they apologized to “the people of Brazil” for the incident.
Lochte, who has been the lightning-rod for the whole event after being the unofficial spokesperson for the group who made public statements that they were robbed, returned to the United States earlier in the week before Brazilian authorities could force him to stay.