TORONTO — The lawyer for a Brazilian soccer player wanted on sexual assault allegations after last summer's Pan Am Games in Toronto says the charge against his client has been dropped.
Brian Greenspan says prosecutors dismissed the charge against Lucas Domingues Piazon, 21, on Tuesday morning because there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.
He says Toronto police knew the dismissal was inevitable and were wrong to tarnish the reputation of an international soccer star.
Greenspan says Piazon, who plays for Reading on loan from Chelsea, has lived "under a cloud of global suspicious" since the Oct. 29 news conference announcing the charge.
Toronto police at the time announced that warrants had been issued for Piazon and Andrey Da Silva Ventura, 22, who both played for the Brazilian soccer team in the Pan Am Games.
Piazon was sought on an Ontario warrant, meaning he could be arrested if he returned to the province.
Ventura, who is currently still playing in Brazil, would have to go through a lengthy process to be returned to Canada to face charges since there is no extradition treaty with that country.
It's unclear whether the charge against Ventura will also be dropped.
The charges involved an alleged sexual assault against a 21-year-old woman on July 25.
The soccer players were not the only Brazilian athletes accused of sex crimes while taking part in the Pan Am Games.
Police also have an active warrant out for Thye Mattos Ventura Bezerra, a 27-year-old water polo player accused of committing a similar offence on July 16.
Police allege Bezerra sexually assaulted a 22-year-old woman as she slept in the bedroom of her downtown apartment.
Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press