Indiana mom files lawsuit claiming she was gang raped by three Cuban soccer stars

Yoandir Puga (R) is accused of raping a U.S. woman in a Jamaican hotel bathroom.

Yoandir Puga (R) is accused of raping a U.S. woman in a Jamaican hotel bathroom.  (2013 Getty Images)

An Indiana woman is suing the Cuban government claiming it has allowed national soccer team players to walk free even though they gang-raped her while she was vacationing in Jamaica.

The mother of four from Avon, Indiana, said the attack occurred when she was using a public restroom in the hotel where she was staying in Montego Bay. She said the three men came into the stall she was using and took turns raping and torturing her. 

"(One of the men) climbed over down into my stall and pulled me up and slammed me against the wall and proceeded to rape (me)," the woman told the Indy Star recently. "Then when the first one was done, he jumped back over to the stall and the second one came, and when he was done, he jumped back over."

The players involved in the purported rape are Yoandir Puga, Tomas Cruz and Yordan Santa Cruz — they were released back to Cuba after Jamaican officials failed to provide DNA evidence necessary to bring charges.

The incident allegedly occurred nearly a year ago.

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According to the Indy Star, the woman is suing the Republic of Cuba for refusing to cooperate in the criminal investigation. The lawsuit was filed on March 18 in federal district court in Indianapolis.

“I’d like a little accountability, some justice for what they’ve done ... not just walk away scot-free,” the unnamed 52-year-old woman told the New York Daily News by phone.

Soccer has traditionally been a distant second to baseball in sports-mad Cuba, but in recent years, the communist government of the island has allocated more resources and begun to expect better results from its national team. Players like Puga and Santa Cruz have helped the team to better-than expected results at the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups.

The incident, which was first reported by Jamaican media, allegedly occurred while the Cuban team was in Montego Bay for a game against the Jamaican national team.

The woman said the attack occurred near the end of her six-day stay at the Holiday Inn Sun Spree at Montego Bay, the country's second largest city.

The woman’s boyfriend said that he went to check on her after she had been in the bathroom for a long time and then heard screaming. He said he fought off the three players, who fled the scene.

After the couple identified the three players involved in the rape, two of them initially confessed to Jamaican authorities their involvement in the rape. The players, however, recanted their confessions after their lawyer arrived and officials refused to compel them to submit DNA evidence.

Jamaican authorities let the three go without sufficient evidence to charge the players.

The woman said she filed the lawsuit because she thinks it is unfair that the players continue to live without being punished.  

“The way I see it ... they’re having fun doing something they enjoy, whereas I deal with this everyday. It doesn’t seem fair,” the woman said.

Court records cited by the Indy Star show the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba has been notified of the lawsuit via letter. According to the paper, failure to respond would result in a default judgment against the Cuban government.

The woman said she is angry that the U.S. is working to restore relations with Cuba, but ignoring cases like hers. She is seeking damages for counseling as well as the legal and medical costs.

“It’s very upsetting. I feel like they’re harboring criminals and trying to put on an appearance that they want to establish better relations with us. It makes me angry. I don’t feel that we can trust much if they’re going to do that,” she said.

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