Conflicting reports emerge in Lochte, Feigen indictment

Going for the Gold 2016
During a press conference on Thursday, officials confirmed Ryan Lochte and three other Team USA Olympic swimmers lied about being victims of an aggravated robbery while in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the games of the XXXI Olympiad.

On Sunday, Lochte claimed he, along with Gunnar Brentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen, were victims of an armed robbery after their taxi was stopped by people impersonating police officers while en route to the Olympic Village following a party.
 
Since then, conflicting reports have surfaced in regard to charges allegedly brought against Lochte and Feigen.
 
According to Globo News, Lochte and Feigen were indicted on charges of false reporting of a crime.
 
Later on Thursday, NBC Nightly News tweeted the pair had not been indicted after all.
Lochte claimed the individuals demanded their money and other personal belongings.
 
On Wednesday, after growing suspicious of the situation, Brazilian authorities went to the Olympic Village to speak with Lochte and Feigen. They were also planning to collect their passports in order to secure further testimony. When police arrived, the swim team had already moved out of the village following the end of their competition.

“As part of our standard security protocol, we do not make athlete travel plans public and therefore cannot confirm the athletes’ current location,” Patrick Sandusky, spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee, said in a statement.

Conger and Bentz were detained by Brazilian authorities Wednesday night as they boarded a plane back to the United States. They were then released with the understanding they would continue their discussion concerning the incident on Thursday.
 
“The three U.S. Olympic swimmers (Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen) are cooperating with authorities and in the process of scheduling a time and place today to provide further statements to the Brazilian authorities,” Sandusky said Thursday morning following the news of their detainment. “All are represented by counsel and being appropriately supported by the USOC and the U.S. Consulate in Rio.”

Lochte, who’s already back in the Unted States, conducted an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer on Wednesday reiterating everything he had initially claimed about the robbery, except for a few details.
 
Originally, Lochte stated they had been pulled over by people posing as police. In the latest interview, he said they had stopped at a gas station to use the restroom. Also in his first account, he said the alleged robber cocked a gun and put it to his head. He later told Lauer the gun was “pointed in his general direction.”

Authorities have asked that Lochte be brought back to Brazil, as Bentz, Conger and Feigen are still in Rio.

During the press conference, speaking Portuguese, officials began by saying they wanted to explain the timeline of events from when police were made aware of the initial incident to what transpired on Thursday.
 
“The police’s work was made very difficult by the lack of information we were able to obtain from the supposed victims or other sources,” the official said. “It was contradictory form the very beginning. Information began to clarify how the facts indeed occurred.”
 
Police say they were made aware of a cab driver who drove two young women. The women claimed they had “relations” with Team USA swimmers. The driver then called the information in to police, possibly providing a motive for the fabricated story. Officials believe the motive could stem from one or more athletes not wanting a Rio relationship publicized.
 
“Several measures were taken when we looked for images from closed circuit cameras at the gas station and their arrival at the Olympic Village,” the official continued. “We sought people who had the real version of what happened, but some citizens were reluctant because they were afraid of retaliation because they are international athletes.” 
 
Officials went on to say, based on the testimony given by the gas station security guard and other witnesses, they began to build a factual account of what happened.
 
“The driver who drove the athletes appeared at the unit (police station) and has been interviewed,” authorities stated. “He confirmed the version the police thought was probable. At this exact moment, police can confirm there was no robbery in the way it was reported by the victims. They were not victims of what they described. Since there are still ongoing investigations, we don’t have the complete picture.”
 
One or more than one of the swimmers committed acts of vandalism in the gas station bathroom, according to police, including the breaking of mirrors and other equipment. Police say this led to the confusion of the store’s employees. Security video also shows the athletes trying to get back in their cab to leave the location.
 
At that time, police say the store’s security guard tried to convince their cab driver to wait until police could get to the scene. However, the athletes did not want to wait for the police. The security guard then drew his firearm in an attempt to detain swimmers until police could arrive.

A citizen tried to act as an interpretor for the guard and the athletes, while attempting to explain to the Team USA members what they did while at the gas station. He told them they vandalized the establishment and needed to pay for their damages. Police say the swimmers paid 100 Reais (Brazilian currency) and thew in a $20 in American currency to compensate the store. The athletes then left the gas station.
 
“The images at the gas station confirmed this version, which also confirms what witnesses said,” authorities stated.
 
Officials say no violence was committed at any time toward the athletes that would lead someone to believe they were being robbed.

“A gun was brandished,” officials said. “According to the security guard, one of the athletes was very upset. So, the use of an arm (gun) was used to detain them. It was never fired.”
 
Police said one of the Team USA swimmers being interviewed on Thursday confessed and confirmed the witness accounts that a robbery never occurred. The swimmer said one of the athletes (Lochte) was more aggravated and upset than the others. He told police the actions of the security guard were not excessive. Authorities say the swimmer who admitted the false story to them never lied because this was his first comment about the incident. The athlete also told officials which swimmer was lying. 
 
Brazilian news outlet Globo has obtained the gas station security video from the night of the incident. Click here to view the footage.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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