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Originally published April 3, 2009 at 12:44 PM | Page modified April 4, 2009 at 1:07 AM

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Sounders FC star Montero investigated in sexual-assault case

King County prosecutors are reviewing a Bellevue police investigation into an alleged sexual assault by Seattle Sounders superstar Fredy Montero, according to several law-enforcement sources.

Seattle Times staff reporter

King County prosecutors are reviewing a Bellevue police investigation into an alleged sexual assault by Seattle Sounders FC superstar Fredy Montero, according to several law-enforcement sources.

The investigation also includes allegations that Montero, 21, stalked the victim a week after the alleged assault occurred, according to a heavily-redacted report released today by the King County Sheriff's Office.

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

While the name of the suspect is blacked out, the report was released to The Seattle Times pursuant to a public-disclosure request for "All King County sheriff incident reports involving Sounders soccer player Fredy Montero."

A relative of the 23-year-old woman who said she was assaulted, who asked to not be identified, said the young 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.

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 Toronto, when the team knew Montero was under criminal investigation.

He will not play in Saturday's Sounders FC-Toronto FC match.

Sources close to the team said Montero's playing status will be further addressed upon the team's return from Canada.

Sounders FC's stance on the situation is in a statement from the team:

"We are aware of the situation and continue to gather information. We fully support Fredy and expect him to play next week. We will have no further comment at this time."

Bellevue police would not provide information on their case, which is referred to by incident number in the sheriff's report. Public information officer Greg Grannis would only say that the case remained an "open investigation" and was in the process of being referred to the King County Prosecutor's Office for review.

King County Prosecutor's spokesman Dan Donohoe, asked about the Montero case specifically, would say only that a "case has been referred to our office by the Bellevue Police Department for review."

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The King County report states that 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," according to the report.

But a detective spoke with the "host family" with whom Montero was staying and they assured the detective that they had been in the neighborhood and that being at the intersection at the same time "was simply a coincidence."

Still, the sheriff's office consulted with Bellevue and provided their report to the detective investigating the alleged assault, the report says.

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

Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or mcarter@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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