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Originally published Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Sounders FC's Montero under investigation

Prosecutors are considering criminal charges against Seattle Sounders FC soccer star Fredy Montero after a 23-year-old Bellevue woman reported that he raped her twice, according to police reports.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Prosecutors are reviewing allegations against Seattle Sounders FC soccer star Fredy Montero after a 23-year-old Bellevue woman reported that he raped her twice, according to police reports.

An incident report released late Friday 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. Bellevue police attorney Kyle Aiken said the city attorney's office was reviewing other police documents, which likely would be released next week.

All of the material has 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 was recently named Major League Soccer's player of the month.

The investigation includes allegations that Montero, 21, stalked the victim a week after the second alleged assault occurred, according to a report released Friday 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.

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.

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."

A team spokesman said Montero was not on the team flight to Toronto on Thursday morning because he had the flu and was too sick to fly Friday. He will not play in today's match against Toronto FC.

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

The King County report states that on Tuesday, 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."

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

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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