The remaining “robbed” American swimmer stuck in Brazil has agreed to pay a large fine to avoid prosecution and avoid jail.
Gold medalist Jimmy Feigen looks to pay $10,800 to a Brazilian charity under an agreement with authorities. In exchange, a judge return’s Feigen’s passport and allows him to leave the country today.
In effect, Feigen pays nearly a year’s salary for the average Brazilian on a possible vandalism charge. The law in the South American nation enables alleged offenders of lesser crimes to provide donations to escape formal charges.
The gold-medal winning swimmers perhaps believe they already did this at a Rio gas station. An early-morning closed-circuit video after late-night partying seems to show the athletes engaging in some form of misbehavior followed by an exchange of some sort with guards in which the swimmers all raise their arms in a hands-up-don’t-shoot gesture. Swimmer Ryan Lochte called it a robbery. The Brazilians, enraged at bad publicity internationally, described the transaction as recompense for vandalism.
Lochte left Brazil on Monday. Fellow gold medalists Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, escorted off a plane on Wednesday night, returned to the United States on Thursday after a Rio mob shouted “shameful” and “liars” at them and banged on the roof of their vehicle.
The agreement permits Feigen to finally leave today.