A Rio de Janeiro court has accepted a complaint from the state prosecutor’s office putting Ryan Lochte back on trial for falsely reporting a crime. Lochte was originally cleared of wrongdoing in July of 2017, but the prosecutor’s office was able to overturn that ruling and reopen the case, according to Brazil’s Globo.com.
Lochte was competing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio when he told a news outlet that he and three teammates were robbed at gunpoint one night. Security footage eventually revealed, though, that the four swimmers were accused of vandalizing a gas station and were asked to pay for the damage by security guards. Lochte was ultimately suspended by USA Swimming for 10 months, but Brazilian authorities have continued to seek criminal punishment against Lochte, incensed by the negative attention it created for Brazil’s image during the Olympics.
The Globo.com story quotes the state Public Prosecutor’s Office. Here’s a rough translation of the Portuguese: “The actions of the accused brought serious negative repercussions on Brazil’s image abroad, and caused mobilization and expenses with completely innocuous investigative acts, since there was no crime of theft reported by the accused.”
Last month, we reported that the Public Prosecutor’s Office was seeking to reopen the case, and a Rio court made it possible this week, putting Lochte back on trial for false communication of a crime. He could face 1-6 months in prison or a fine if convicted, per Globo.com.