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Originally published April 14, 2009 at 3:49 PM | Page modified April 15, 2009 at 1:49 AM

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Prosecutor finds insufficient evidence to charge soccer star Montero

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has decided not to file criminal charges against Seattle Sounders soccer star Fredy Montero, citing insufficient evidence to support a claim by a 23-year-old Eastside woman that Montero raped her.

Seattle Times staff reporter

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has decided not to file criminal charges against Seattle Sounders soccer star Fredy Montero, citing insufficient evidence to support a claim by a 23-year-old Eastside woman that Montero had raped her.

A brief statement this afternoon from Satterberg's spokesman, Dan Donohoe, did not elaborate on the decision.

The woman had reported to Bellevue police that Montero, 21, had raped her twice in March, and then later stalked her.

Montero continued to practice with the Sounders and teammates rallied behind him. His agent told a newspaper that the allegations were false and stemmed from his efforts to end a dating relationship with the woman.

"I am excited to return my complete attention to scoring goals for the people of Seattle and making the Sounders FC a very successful club," Montero said in a statement released this afternoon by the Sounders FC.

Said an unidentified team spokesman in a statement: "We are pleased with the decision from the prosecutor's office and look forward to putting this behind us and focusing on soccer."

An incident report released earlier this month by the Bellevue Police Department identified Montero as the suspect in the case. A summary states, "Victim [name redacted] reported she was raped twice by [suspect] Montero on 3/15 and 3/22."

The report contained no additional details. All of the material had been forwarded to the King County Prosecutor's Office to determine if charges should be filed, according to Bellevue Police spokesman Greg Grannis.

Montero, from Colombia, is the leading scorer for Sounders FC and last month was named Major League Soccer's player of the month.

The investigation included allegations that Montero stalked the alleged victim a week after the second alleged assault occurred, according to a report released by the King County Sheriff's Office. That report references an alleged sexual assault on March 22. The Bellevue report is the first indication the woman might have been assaulted before.

The soccer player's "host family" told detectives later, however, that Montero's presence in the neighborhood was a coincidence.

A relative of the 23-year-old woman who said she was assaulted, who asked to not be identified, said the woman and Montero knew each other but that "calling it a relationship would be way, way out there." He declined to say what the woman told Bellevue police regarding the alleged March 22 assault and he did not mention an assault on March 15.

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The relative said the family had been frustrated and went to the media when the Sounders announced that Montero was sick with the flu and wouldn't be traveling to an April 4 match in Toronto.

A team spokesman said Montero was not on the team flight to Toronto because he had the flu and was too sick to fly.

The King County report stated that on March 31, the 23-year-old woman was stopped in the southbound lanes of an intersection in Bellevue and was about to make a U-turn when she saw her alleged attacker — Montero — "sitting in the front passenger seat of his vehicle" heading north. The woman made her turn and then slowed to allow the vehicle carrying Montero to pass. The man "leaned back in the seat in an attempt to hide," the report says.

But a detective who spoke with the host family with whom Montero was staying was told that sighting "was simply a coincidence."

Information from Seattle Times archives and staff reporter José Miguel Romero is included in this report.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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