Criminal Justice

Ryan Lochte is indicted in Brazil

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U.S. Swimmier Ryan Lochte has been indicted in Brazil on a charge of filing a false police report in connection with his claims of being an armed robbery victim.

Police said in a statement that Lochte, who is in the United States, will be informed of the charge so he can decide whether to mount a defense in Brazil, report the Associated Press and the Guardian.

The maximum penalty is 18 months in prison, and Lochte could be tried without returning to the country. Brazil and the United States have an extradition treaty, but Brazil typically does not extradite its own citizens to other countries, and the United States could also refuse extradition, AP explains.

The case will be turned over to a special Brazilian court with jurisdiction over crimes related to major sporting events, according to the police statement cited by AP. Because the case involves lesser charges and the special court, prosecutors do not need to be involved in the charging decision.

The New York Times, however, had a conversation with an anonymous prosecution spokesman, who said prosecutors get to decide whether to file charges.

Police launched an investigation after media reports said Lochte and three other U.S. swimmers had been robbed. Lochte told NBC the group was in a taxi after a late-night party when they were pulled over by men with guns and a police badge. Police said the men were confronted by an armed security guard after damaging property at a gas station.

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