Things That Matter

After Going Public With Rape Allegations Against One Of The World’s Biggest Soccer Stars, People Are Coming For Her With Serious Threats

Last week, news broke that Neymar Jr, the Brazilian footballer, was being accused of rape and assault.

Now, the woman who accused him says that she’s being threatened and intimidated ever since she came forward.

All of this started when the woman came out of the shadows to tell her side of the story to Brazilian media.

Credit: @DerangedRadio / Twitter

In text messages with Buzzfeed News, the model said: “I have no life, my apartment was broken into, I cannot take care of my son.”

According to a report by the Sao Paulo police, the woman said she met Neymar da Silva through Instagram. Neymar, as he’s known to fans, plays for French soccer team Paris Saint-Germain, which pays him roughly $1 million per week, and Brazil’s national soccer team.

The 26-year-old model said in the report that Neymar “supplied her with plane tickets and accommodation” at a Parisian hotel in mid-May, according to a CNN translation. The encounter began calm and normal when Neymar first arrived at the hotel. The two even cuddled for a while. However, at a certain point, “Neymar became aggressive and violently engaged in sexual intercourse against the will of the victim.”

Because of the way she’s been treated, many are asking is there anything more important than Neymar Jr. in Brazil.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

The model’s lawyer defended his client in an interview with CNN, calling her a victim “who, until proven otherwise, has been raped.”

“Najila is a victim. Is there nothing more important in Brazil than Neymar?” lawyer Danilo Garcia de Andrade told CNN, adding that “if Neymar is innocent, let the police get it straightened out, but in a just, humane, legal way.”

On Friday, Trindade fainted and hit her head while being questioned by police in relation to the alleged incident, according to Garcia.

He accused members of the press and the public of hostility as he carried Trindade to a police car after the interview.

Meanwhile, Neymar is facing two separate investigations in Brazil.

Credit: neymarjroficial/ Instagram

First, the Sao Paulo police are looking into the rape and assault allegations. It’s in Sao Paulo where Neymar’s accuser first filed a police report on May 31 claiming that the footballer assaulted and raped her earlier that month.

Neymar quickly took to Instagram to deny the allegations, saying: “I was induced to do it, it was something that happened, it was a trap and I ended up falling for it, but that’s a lesson from here on out.” His representatives have said he is the victim of extortion.

Instagram quickly took down the video saying it violated its policies. However, the second police investigation focuses on cybercrime given Neymar took to Instagram two days after the report was filed to deny the accusation and share sexually charged text exchanges that occurred between the two after the alleged rape took place, in order to prove their interactions were consensual.

The texts included nude photos of the model. Posting intimate photos of another person is a crime under Brazilian law. Rio de Janeiro police have opened the investigation because Neymar showed the photos on social media while he was in Rio de Janeiro training with the Brazilian national team.

Woman Alleges She And Two Other Women In ICE Custody Were Raped Hours Before Being Released And Deported

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Woman Alleges She And Two Other Women In ICE Custody Were Raped Hours Before Being Released And Deported

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The United States continues to detain migrants and refugees in detention centers across the country, despite a global health crisis that poses an immense risk to detainees. However, along with the threat of Covid-19 infection – longstanding abuses such as sexual assaults continue to happen inside detention centers.

One brave woman has come forward with her story about a sexual assault that happened at a detention facility outside Houston, Texas.

A federal lawsuit alleges that three women were sexually assaulted hours before being deported back to Mexico.

In a federal lawsuit that was filed on Wednesday, a Mexican woman, who was being held inside an immigration detention facility, said she was raped along with two other women. The woman, identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, is suing CoreCivic – a major private prison company that operates several ICE detention facilities across the U.S.

While in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, the plaintiff said she and two other women were taken from their dorms and placed inside a dark small room. Around midnight, three men in street wear entered the cell and sexually assaulted all of the women. The attackers hit the women in the face, used brutal force and raped each of them.

Hours later, all three of the victims were put on buses and deported back to Mexico – without even being given the chance to shower after the attack.

“She was in a very vulnerable position,” said the plaintiff’s lawyer, Michelle Simpson Tuegel. “I don’t think by chance that these women were targeted on the eve of deportation, and that she was sexually assaulted right as she was being deported.”

“It wasn’t really a position where she had anyone or could do anything at that point,” Tuegel said. 

The woman said she became pregnant as a result of the rape.

The alleged attack occurred June 1, 2018. The plaintiff released a video statement detailing some of the alleged incident. In it, she reveals that shortly after returning to Mexico, she discovered that she was pregnant.

“I became pregnant as a result of the rape and am now the mother of a girl,” she said in the video. 

Attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel said that while the plaintiff loves her daughter regardless of how she came into the world, the mother suffered a difficult birth. 

“She conceived a child as a result of this rape and then had a pretty difficult…birth in a rural area of Mexico. She would not have had that, had it not been for this rape,” Simpson Tuegel said. 

Although ICE hasn’t commented on the lawsuit, they have defended the actions of their employees.

Credit: US DHS

ICE said in a statement that it does not comment on pending litigation, but said lack of comment should not be taken as agreement with any of the allegations.

“ICE employees and contractors are held to the highest standard of professional and ethical conduct,” the agency said. “Incidents of misconduct are treated with the utmost seriousness and investigated thoroughly. When substantiated, appropriate action is taken.”

Unfortunately, sexual assault and rape are extremely common in ICE detention centers.

Credit: Sally Whitfield / Getty

According to reporting done by The Intercept, between 2010 and 2017, there were 1,224 complaints involving sexual assault. Perhaps even more startling, is that of these more than 1,200 sexual assault allegations – only 43 were ever investigated.

It’s also important to note the extreme obstacles encountered by those wanting to report assaults – from fear and retaliation to outright lack of resources. These patterns suggest that sexual assault and harassment is ICE detention centers are not only widespread but systemic, enabled by an agency that regularly fails to hold itself accountable.

Rio’s Christ The Redeemer Lights Up To Honor Healthcare Workers Around The World

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Rio’s Christ The Redeemer Lights Up To Honor Healthcare Workers Around The World

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Healthcare workers need all the support they can get during this crisis. They’re literally on the front lines of a battle against an invisible enemy and in many places, they’re not being given the recognition they need and deserve.

However, some communities have come together to show their support. From giant mariachi bands in Mexico City to the Effie Tower’s message of hope – and now Rio’s Christ statue – we hope these brave healthcare workers are feeling all the love.

Rio’s archdioceses held Easter services at the base of the famed statue and paid tribute to healthcare workers.

SILVIA IZQUIERDO / GETTY

With churches and other houses of worship closed to maintain social distancing measures, Brazilian archbishop Orani Tempesta conducted an Easter service at the feet of the Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro—and projected a special message onto the 125-foot-tall statue.

For the second time since the coronavirus escalated to a global pandemic, the statue appeared illuminated with images of the flags of countries hardest hit by the virus, including the United States, China, Spain, Italy, and Brazil, and the words “hope,” “thanks,” and “stay home” written in various languages.

Projected images of doctors and nurses also intermittently appeared on the figure, putting individual faces to that vital workforce.

The statue, depicting Christ with outstretched arms, was also dressed up in a doctor’s scrubs, lab coat, and stethoscope as a tribute to the healthcare workers on the front line of the pandemic.

The images that lit up the sky on Easter Sunday provided a different message than the one that Brazilian president Jair Bolsanaro has been sharing.

Brazil has so far recorded more than 22,000 Covid-19 cases and 1,230 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. However, President Jair Bolsonaro remains one of the few world leaders playing down the threat of the disease.

The populist leader has continued to push back on social-distancing policies in recent weeks, dismissing the coronavirus as a “little flu” and saying Brazil will suffer more if the economy collapses.

In fact, over the weekend he scoffed at social distancing measures, telling local media outlets “No one will hinder my right to come and go.”

Rio’s famed statue has been closed by the pandemic since mid-March – along with much of the country’s top attractions.

The famed statue has withstood the worst of what the elements could throw its way for nearly nine decades. Now it, too, is succumbing to the outbreak of the new coronavirus. 

The 125-foot-tall statue, which last year saw almost 2 million visitors, closed on March 17 and won’t reopen for at least a month. To contain the virus’ spread, Brazil’s Chico Mendes Institute on Tuesday ordered the closure of all national parks it oversees, including the one that’s home to the Christ statue.

Rio seems less marvelous by the day with the creep of the new virus. Firemen began blaring recordings that urge beachgoers to stay home, one day before Rio’s Gov. Wilson Witzel decreed a state of emergency.

Among other things, Witzel’s decree recommended that restaurants and bars limit themselves to 30% capacity for 15 days, that boats and buses halve their passenger loads, that shopping malls close and people avoid beaches and public pools. The decree also suspended classes and all other activities and events that entail gatherings.