Jimmy Feigen, one of the American swimmers involved in the ongoing controversy surrounding Ryan Lochte’s falsified account of armed robbery in Rio, has agreed to pay a $10,800 “institution” — or “donation” — in exchange for his passport, Feigen’s lawyer told the AP on Friday.
Attorney Breno Melaragno said that Feigen would leave the country upon making the payment.
Attorney Breno Melaragno said under the agreement, Feigen will make the donation, get his passport back and depart.
Melaragno did not specify where the money will go, but his use of the term “institution” can be taken to mean a charity. He said that under Brazilian law, a donation can be made to avoid criminal prosecution for minor offenses, but did not say what charge was being contemplated.
Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, the two swimmers pulled off their flight on Wednesday night and subsequently questioned by Brazilian authorities, both flew home late Thursday.
Their attorney told the AP that they had not lied in their testimony, and were only questioned as witnesses.
Bentz and Conger “were heard only as witnesses. This has to be made very, very clear,” lawyer Sergio Riera told The Associated Press. “They did not make any untruthful testimony. They did not lie in their statements.”
Although all four swimmers will shortly be back in the United States, the AP reported that the saga is not necessarily over for good. Rio authorities are reportedly considering charges of falsely reporting a crime and destruction of property.
On Thursday, Rio police declared that no armed robbery had occurred, despite Lochte’s account to the authorities and to NBC.
“No robbery was committed against these athletes. They were not victims of the crimes they claimed,” Civil Police Chief Fernando Veloso said in a news conference.
However, the United States Olympic Committee released a statement that strongly suggests that they believe some form of robbery did occur, while also apologizing for the behaviour of the athletes.
From the USOC statement:
“An argument ensued between the athletes and two armed gas station security staff, who displayed their weapons, ordered the athletes from their vehicle and demanded the athletes provide a monetary payment.”
The letter went on to apologise to the city of Rio and called the behaviour of the swimmers “not acceptable.”
The four swimmers were accused of vandalizing part of a gas station, which resulted in Rio police arriving on scene.
After a few minutes, the swimmers stand up and appear to exchange something — perhaps cash, as police said — with one of the men.
The footage doesn’t show a weapon, but a police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing, said two guards pointed guns at the swimmers.
Lochte’s lawyer has maintained that the story was not fabricated.
“There was a uniformed person with a gun who forced them to hand over their money,” attorney Jeff Ostrow told The New York Times.
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