Neymar could find himself being investigated for domestic violence instead of rape, it was revealed last night.
It comes after his lawyer representing his alleged rape victim dramatically quit the case being brought by Brazilian model Najila Trindade, saying he would ‘not participate in an unlawful act to obtain economic gain from anyone.’
Today three lawyers, empowered to order either the prosecution of Neymar or to dismiss the rape allegation against him, said any eventual charge against him could be downgraded to one of violence.
They have begun assessing witness statements including those of his accuser.
They revealed last night that they were still to determine whether the rape accusations stood up after sitting In on witness interviews.
These include a police interview with Gallo, Neymar’s assistant who fixed the Paris liaison and is understood to have told officers that sex between them was part of the reason Najila Trindade was flown to France after he arranged the air tickets and hotel room.
In a case of the matter, which has gripped Brazil, being dropped the three lawyers will also decided whether there is evidence that false allegations were made against the 26-year-old footballing superstar.
The legal team from Brazil’s Public Ministry Estefania Ferrazzini Paulin, Flavia Cristina Merlini and Katia Peixoto Vilani, will then be able to ask police to arrest Ms Trindade for wasting police time.
The lawyers have the ultimate sanction to decide whether Neymar should be charged with rape, domestic violence, drip the investigation or order his accuser to be brought before a court.
Police sources said the case against Neymer had been significantly weakened by Ms Trindade being unable to produce the film evidence which she said had vanished with her stolen ipad.
She has admitted going to Paris to have a sexual liaison with the Paris St Germain star after he sent her an air ticket.
Neymar’s assistant Gallo, said to have ordered the air tickets, booked her into room 203 of the Paris Sofitel, spoke with police last night.
He is reported to have told them Neymar’s meeting with the model was a straightforward consensual event and that she had willingly agreed to travel to France to have sex with the footballer.
Earlier Brazilian model Najila Trindade accused her lawyer Danilo Garcia de Andrade of stealing an iPad which she claimed proved the footballer’s guilt.
Then Mr de Andrande today resigned from representing the model, saying he would ‘not participate in an unlawful act to obtain economic gain from anyone.’
Ms Trindade has been repeatedly asked by Sao Paulo police to hand over an iPad she claimed contained film that would incriminate Neymar and help police charge him with rape.
But Mr de Andrade said he was forced to resign after she accused him of plotting a break-in at her apartment and having the iPad stolen.
He said she claimed she had located the missing iPad to his office using an Apple search system which, he said, was a ridiculous accusation.
He added: ‘I’d never work for someone who’d put my integrity in doubt.
‘I’d never take part in any illegality to obtain financial advantages of anyone, no matter who they are.
‘I believe in good practice, in moral values and good conduct’ he told Globo.com.
Ms Trindade had told police when she initially made her complaint that she had possession of a seven minute film that would prove her allegations.
When the officer leading the investigation Dr Juliana Lopes Bussacos requested she produce the iPad with the evidence, she was unable to hand it over.
Then she claimed she had suffered a break-in at her apartment with the iPad stolen. Police said they found no sign of a burglary and could only find fingerprints belonging to her and her friends.
Dr Bussacos told MailOnline that she could not answer direct questions about the missing iPad or why Ms Trindade had also not given police her mobile phone, but was keen to receive the evidence.
Ms Trindade, a divorced mother-of-one, is now looking for her third attorney in a just over a week after her first one resigned last Monday.
José Edgard Bueno said that when the model first approached him she claimed she had been assaulted, but did not mention rape.
A senior police source said: ‘On the one hand you have a crying and very anxious woman saying she has been raped.
‘Then you also have a very famous man who is accused of raping her, but claims absolutely that he is innocent.
‘We have to continue our investigation and talk with both people. Until we can do no more, we will carry on with the case.’
Neymar has agreed to fly to São Paulo to meet with detectives over the alleged attack.
His private security team met his lawyer and police who will interview him yesterday.
After his questioning, officers will then assess Neymar’s first-hand version of the events that took place inside room 203 of the Hotel Sofitel Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Dr Bussacos, who will quiz the Brazilian star, spoke exclusively to MailOnline and said: ‘He will be treated like any other citizen.
‘He has the same rights as any other man. I have interviewed many men in these situations and everyone is equal and they all have the right to tell their story and produce evidence to back it up.’