Ryan Lochte Cleared of All Charges Related to Rio Olympics Incident

Kristopher Nichols
July 16, 2017

An appellate court in Brazil has dismissed a criminal case against US swimmer Ryan Lochte, concluding that Lochte did not break the law in exaggerating the details of an incident at a gas station during the Rio Olympics in August.

Lochte told NBC past year that he and fellow swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen were robbed at gunpoint in a taxi by men with police badges as they returned to the Olympic Village from a party August 15. However, on Thursday, July 13th, Rio's Fifth Criminal Chamber of the Court of Justice closed a criminal case against Lochte by accepting a habeas corpus petition in his defense.

According to USA Today, the court concluded that Lochte, who eventually admitted he "over-exaggerated" the story and apologized for his "immature behavior", did not break Brazilian law.

A Rio de Janeiro appeals court on Friday threw out that case after determining that Lochte's robbery claim, made in a TV interview, did not rise to the level of filing a false crime report. Lochte told NBC News in an interview their taxi stopped at a gas station and they were subsequently robbed at gunpoint.

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Lochte served a 10-month suspension over his behaviour in Rio.

The charge against Lochte stems not from telling the exaggerated story to NBC days after returning to the USA, but from telling it to Rio police, who triggered an investigation of the incident.

Lochte stood by his story and his lawyers fought to clear him of criminal charges, but a three-judge panel in a lower court upheld the charge 2-1. The USA TODAY investigation also found no evidence that the men had vandalized a bathroom at the gas station that night, as authorities had alleged.

They filed charges against Lochte for falsely reporting a crime, but the swimmer had already left the country. The 12-time Olympic medalist returned to the US before the Games ended and the charge was filed, but he was given a 10-month suspension by USA Swimming for his behavior in Rio.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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