UPDATE: Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte is expected to be summoned to testify in Brazil about a robbery he reported during the games. If he fails to appear in Brazil, he could be tried in absentia and would not be able to engage in a plea deal, according to the Fox News report.
Read the original report below.
Following the loss of endorsement deals after Lochte admitted he "over-exaggerated" his story of being robbed at gunpoint by Brazilian civilians posing as police officials, a report claims there may be gaps in the version of the story that was given by Rio police.
USA Today said in a report it has constructed a narrative of the events in the incident, which also involved Olympic swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jimmy Feigen and Jack Conger, that it says may indicate Rio police fabricated reports of the incident as well.
Here are the investigation findings, according to USA Today:
Claims that the Rio police were not transparent
USA Today said that when its reporters requested information, Rio police declined, saying the investigation was confidential. It said that part of the released reports of testimony given by Conger and Bentz, which contained statements that expressed doubt about Lochte's story, does not include the part of the statements that mentioned interactions with armed Rio authorities.
The newspaper said Rio's civil police would not provide the full testimony, and the portion of testimony that was released was removed from the organization's social media sites.
It reported that police accused Lochte and Feigen filing of a false police report, which may result in six months in prison and a fine. Bentz and Conger do not face charges. Feigen paid a settlement to avoid charges.
USA Today cited Deborah Srour, who said she practiced law in Brazil for 25 years and has represented Americans arrested in Brazil, as saying the swimmers' actions do not match the accusation by police.
"This crime only happens when you go to the police and you make a report, you file a report,"’ Srour said. "This did not happen."
Damage by swimmers to gas station restroom unclear
According to USA Today's report, Brazilian authorities said the swimmers vandalized a gas station restroom, but the paper said a reporter who visited the area did not see evidence of a broken soap dispenser, restroom doors or mirrors as Rio police chief Fernando Veloso said at a news conference.
The report said that, upon observing released surveillance video, swimmers were not seen going near any of the restrooms, contrary to Rio authorities' statements. USA Today said it only found a sign that was torn down, which it said matched statements from authorities and bystander Fernando Deluz. It also said Bentz's statement to police and authorities' narrative supported that the swimmers urinated behind the gas station.
Whether guards drew weapons on the swimmers is also unclear
It is not clear whether or not the guards, who USA Today said were police working a private security detail, drew a weapon on the swimmers. What is agreed upon, according to USA Today, is that the guards who allegedly showed their law enforcement badges to the swimmers after they urinated behind the gas station prevented the swimmers from leaving.
As the swimmers tried to leave in a cab, USA Today reported that surveillance videos show a man stopping the cab. The man appears to have something in his hand. Veloso confirmed in a news conference that the guards were state police, but would not identify them and defended the guards for drawing weapons. USA Today said Bentz's statement about what happened after the cab was stopped -- that guards pointed their guns at the swimmers -- "could be attributed to cultural and linguistic clumsiness or to the swimmers allegedly being inebriated."
Debate over whether the swimmers were robbed, as Lochte claimed
Bentz's account said the swimmers were held at gunpoint until they paid the guards. "I gave them what I had in my wallet, which was a $20 bill, and Jimmy gave them 100 reais, which is about $50 in total. They lowered the guns, and I used hand gestures to ask if it was OK to leave, and they said yes,” his statement said.
USA Today cited witness Deluz, who said that the damage to the sign could have been resolved with an apology even if the swimmers had no money to pay for the damage, but the newspaper said the witness's claim does not match Bentz's statement, or Lochte's story, in which he said "there was a gun pointed in our direction and we were demanded to give money."
USA Today cited Rio Judge Joao Batista Damasceno as saying it may not be a robbery if the guards only asked for the amount of the damage. "But if the amount taken is higher than the value of the damages, with the use of a weapon by the 'security,' this is robbery."
Deluz said if the men were robbing the swimmers, they would have taken all the money rather than accept the requested payment, which Deluz said was understood as being tied to the damage to the sign.
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