(Please see below for updated statements from Ribeiro's attorney, as well as the Predators)
Court documents filed Thursday in the sexual assault case against Mike Ribeiro introduce vivid detail about the crimes the Nashville Predators center is accused of committing against his former nanny.
The woman, whose name we are withholding, claims that on multiple occasions dating back to 2007 while the family lived in Texas, Ribeiro made unwanted sexual advances toward her. The complaint specifically alleges that he would stare at her with his hand down his pants, that he would brush up against her and touch her backside while she was doing dishes, and that "sometime around 2009 or 2010, Mike grabbed her leg while he was driving her home."
In August 2012, shortly after Ribeiro signed with the Washington Capitals and the family was preparing to move, Ribeiro's wife, Tamara Williams, invited the nanny to suburban Virginia to help them with the move, according to the complaint. The plan was for her to stay for two weeks.
We'll quote the allegations from the civil suit directly from here, via documents filed in U.S. District Court and obtained by On The Forecheck, and we'll note in advance that the graphic nature of the claims may be disturbing for some readers.
A few days before [the nanny] was scheduled to leave, Mike and Tamara went out with some of Mike's teammates. When they came home, Mike went down to the basement where [she] was sleeping with the kids. ... [The nanny] woke up with Mike's hands all over her. She did not move. She tried to say something but nothing would come out. Mike saw [she] was awake, but he did not stop. [She] mustered her voice and told him he needed to leave.
She did not scream because she did not want to wake the children who were in the bed right next to her. Mike was fully clothed and wearing a suit. His hand was on her breasts and he was pleasuring himself at the same time. [...]
Mike came back sometime later— this time just in his underwear. [The nanny] woke up with Mike forcing his hand down her panties. She grabbed at the blanket and started saying: "What are you doing?!?" He took his other hand that had been down his underwear and put it over her mouth and held down, intentionally and willfully restraining her against her will and without her consent. [The nanny] could not excercise [sic] her will to leave due to the force and threat of force from Mike.
Having restrained [the nanny] against her will, Mike then sexually assaulted [her] by shoving his fingers inside her vagina. [She] said he needed to leave and not come back.
The complaint states that the nanny had just turned 18 when the alleged assault in Virginia took place in 2012, and that she started working for the family when she was 12 years old. She says that she has suffered mental anguish, medical treatment, physical pain and suffering, physical impairment, humiliation, shame, fright and damage to her reputation as a result of the actions committed by Ribeiro and Williams.
According to the complaint, Ribeiro admitted fault in a conversation with his wife and the nanny after the incident took place, and that he "tried to blame his actions on drinking too much and also admitted that he did not doubt [the nanny's] account of the events."
Among the claims made against Ribeiro are one count of assault and one count of false imprisonment. Claims against Williams include one count each of negligence, premises liability and gross negligence. Again, these claims are civil, not criminal. The nanny is also asking for punitive and exemplary damages to be awarded.
This case began in August 2014, and both Ribeiro and Williams have maintained their innocence. The federal court process began in February when the initial complaint filed by the nanny was transferred from state court. This was that initial complaint:
"Defendant MIKE RIBEIRO assaulted Plaintiff. Defendant RIBEIRO acted intentionally, knowingly and recklessly when he made contact with Plaintiff's person. The Defendant's contact caused bodily injury to Plaintiff and Plaintiff has been damaged in an amount which is within the jurisdictional limits of this court."
Williams faced a similar charge for harassment. Both sets of attorneys tugged back and forth on the depth of the complaint, in which her original attorneys stated that she did not have to provide any further detail.
"Given the sensitive and traumatic nature of the underlying events, [plaintiff's] initial pleading did not disclose every detail of the events; however, [plaintiff's] Original Petition is sufficient under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)."
On March 2, Ribeiro and Williams filed an answer to the original complaint, denying the allegations. They also asked the judge for a more definite statement for the case to continue, and he agreed, stating the following:
"No further factual allegations are provided. This is not sufficient under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure."
This order from the judge was given after her original representation was removed "without cause," and for a time, she represented herself. She secured new counsel as of early June.
On June 18, the set deadline, the former nanny submitted her more definite complaint. In stark contrast to the initial complaint, this was 16 pages long and went into great detail. You can see the full complaint embedded below -- and again, we warn you that the details of the claims made may be disturbing.
Prior to this document filed Thursday, the only detail on the incident we have seen other than the original statement was an excerpt from a motion to dismiss, filed by Ribeiro's attorney:
"One morning, during that 2 week stay (in August of 2012 in Virginia) [redacted] accused Williams' husband, Ribeiro, of attempting to touch [redacted] . "She" stayed until the end of the two weeks."
The next planned step in this case is a discovery hearing, which has been set with a July 27 deadline, with a report due from that hearing August 11. As usual, we at On The Forecheck will do our best to keep you informed of this situation.
Late Friday, the attorney for the Ribeiros released the following statement to OTF:
"Mike and Tamara Ribeiro deny these allegations and will confront their accuser in a court of law. In the meantime, heeding my advice, they will not be making any further comments. Mike is dedicated to being the best hockey player he can be and attempting to try this case outside the courtroom does a disservice to all parties."
The Predators, via Adam Vignan at the Tennessean, have referred to their previous statement on the matter from back in March:
"We have been made aware of a complaint against Mike Ribeiro, dating back to his playing time while he was in Dallas," the Predators said in the March statement. "Mike has indicated that the charge is without merit and is prepared to vigorously defend himself. We will allow the legal process to move forward without further comment."