Toronto

Brazilian Pan Am water polo player accused of sex assault

Toronto police have issued a warrant for a member of the Brazilian men's Pan Am Games water polo team on a charge of sexual assault, after a woman alleged she was assaulted while she slept.

Toronto police have issued an arrest warrant for 27-year-old Thye Mattos Ventura Bezerra

Toronto police issue arrest warrant for Thye Mattos Ventura Bezerra, a member of Brazil's silver medal-winning water polo team 1:52

Toronto police have issued an arrest warrant for a member of the Brazilian men's Pan Am Games water polo team on a charge of sexual assault. 

Thye Mattos Ventura Bezerra, 27, the goal keeper for the team, is accused of assaulting a 22-year-old woman as she slept. Bezerra has since left the country with his team.

Sex crimes Insp. Joanna Beaven-Desjardins said local police are working with Brazilian authorities. 

"We don't have a treaty with [Brazil} at this time, but if he goes to another country that does have a treaty, he could be arrested," Beaven-Desjardins said, adding Toronto police will be notified of his travel.

"We've been in discussions with Brazil," she added.

The assault is alleged to have occurred on July 16 in a downtown Toronto apartment on the same morning Bezerra left Canada with the rest of the water polo team. 

Beaven-Desjardins said another team member was in the complainant's home at the time of the alleged assault, but is not considered a suspect. 

Police said the complainant is not a Pan Am Games athlete or volunteer. 

Beaven-Desjardins said Bezerra spent two weeks in Toronto.

Athlete 'shaken' by accusation: Brazilian report

The Brazilian men's water polo team won silver at the Pan Am Games on July 15, one day before the assault allegedly took place. Police said they only identified a suspect after the team had left Toronto.

Bezerra is still with his team in Kazan, Russia for the 2014 FINA World Championships, according to a Brazilian media outlet.

Bezarra said he is innocent and his interaction with the woman was consensual, when asked about the case by GloboEsporte.com, a Rio de Janeiro media outlet, 

Members of the water polo team said Bezerra was "shaken" by the allegation.

Marcus Vinicius Freire, head of performance for the Brazilian team, said the delegation had contacted a lawyer and was working with the Brazilian consulate in Toronto.

No extradition

The Brazilian constitution forbids extradition of a citizen except in cases of drug trafficking.

An article in its constitution states that "no Brazilian shall be extradited, except the naturalized ones in the case of a common crime committed before naturalization or in the case there is sufficient evidence of participation in the illicit traffic of narcotics and related drugs, under the terms of the law."

With files from The Canadian Press