Latin America & Caribbean

Peru footballer Yordy Reyna investigated over rape case

Yordy Reyna of Salzburg is seen during the Bundesliga match between Red Bull Salzburg and Sturm Graz at Red Bull Arena on May 7, 2016 in Salzburg, Austria. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Yordy Reyna will be investigated over the alleged rape of a 16-year-old who subsequently died

Prosecutors in Peru are investigating Vancouver Whitecaps forward Yordy Reyna in connection with the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl who died after partying in Mr Reyna's Lima apartment.

Forensic tests suggested Alessandra Chocano died of natural causes but her family suspects she was given a date rape drug and sexually abused.

Ms Chocano was a star on Peru's junior national women's volleyball team.

Mr Reyna's lawyer said he was confident his client would be cleared.

The footballer was questioned shortly after Ms Chocano's death in November, but no charges were brought against him.

Ms Chocano's family said it had requested that her body be exhumed and new forensic tests be carried out "to find out the truth" behind the young athlete's death.

The girl had been to a nightclub in the Peruvian capital before going to a flat rented by Mr Reyna along with some friends.

Her mysterious death made news in Peru, where Mr Reyna is a well-known star who until recently played for the national team.

The 24-year-old also played for Alianza Lima before leaving for Austria, where he was with Red Bull Salzburg until 2017.

Since then, he has been playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The allegations against him come at a time when gender-based violence has become a hot topic in Peru, where levels of violence against women are among the highest in Latin America.

Just weeks before Ms Chocano's death, participants in Peru's Miss Universe Pageant broke with tradition and recited statistics detailing violence against women rather than give their body measurements.

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