An Argentine judge on Thursday threw out a lawsuit over alleged people-trafficking brought by Mavys Álvarez Rego, a Cuban ex-girlfriend of the late football icon Diego Maradona.
The case was opened in September after local NGO Fundación por la Paz filed a complaint in Buenos Aires after watching an interview given by Álvarez to US media outlets.
Álvarez, who now lives in Miami with her two children, was 16 when she first met Maradona, then in his 40s. During their relationship, which lasted four to five years, she alleges she was raped and held against her will.
Her lawyers in Buenos Aires have appealed against the judge's decision.
The case was brought against Maradona's former entourage, accusing them of people-trafficking, privation of liberty, assault and battery, reduction to servitude and introduction to drugs.
But in dropping the case, Federal Judge Daniel Rafecas wrote that the alleged offences "were mostly carried out by Maradona, with the secondary participation of his collaborators between November 9, 2001 and January 19, 2002."
Álvarez's lawyer, Fernando Miguez, argued that the complaint was against the entourage and not Maradona. He said he would be filing a complaint against Rafecas and public prosecutor Carlos Rivolo.
Maradona is widely considered one of the greatest footballers in history and inspired Argentina’s national team to win the 1986 World Cup. He died in 2020 after undergoing brain surgery on a blood clot, and after decades of battles with cocaine and alcohol addictions.
Last year, Álvarez told Argentine press that during a trip to Buenos Aires with Maradona in 2001, she had been held against her will for several weeks in a hotel by Maradona's entourage, banned from going out alone, and forced into a breast augmentation operation.
She also claimed that Maradona had raped her on one occasion at their home in Havana and mentioned several other episodes of physical violence.