Legal Analyst: Brazil Using Lochte, Other Swimmers’ Story to Change Pre-Olympics Perception

Former federal attorney and former criminal defense attorney Emily Compagno said Thursday on “Fox & Friends” that Brazil is aggressively attacking the Ryan Lochte gunpoint robbery story in order to disprove the pre-Olympics notion that Rio de Janeiro is a dangerous city ridden with crime.

“The reason Brazil is coming at this so aggressively is, in part, not only is it illegal to file that false police report if this is untrue, but also plays into the whole prejudice that they were trying to overcome with these Olympic games like, ‘Look, we’re not an unsafe city. Look, we’re not rife with crime.’ So they’re really attacking this aggressively because I think they want to combat that notion we had prior to the Olympic games and that story that was circulating about the safety there,” Compagno explained.

Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte, Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen alleged they were robbed at gunpoint as they returned to the Olympic Village after a party early Sunday morning, but the story is now being debunked by ABC.

Lochte returned to the country Monday, but the other three are being held in Brazil for further questioning. Conger and Bentz were reportedly removed from their flight home Wednesday.

Compagno believes Conger, Bentz and Feigen could all be held in Brazil until they have given their testimonies, and that the three swimmers could all face up to six months in prison and/or a fine for knowingly falsifying police reports.

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent