The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

U.S. swimmer Jimmy Feigen to make charitable donation in exchange for his freedom

Brazil's Globo TV shows CCTV footage of U.S. Olympic swimmers including Ryan Lochte at a Rio gas station. (Video: Reuters)

Jimmy Feigen, who has been accused by Brazilian authorities of fabricating a robbery claim along with Ryan Lochte and two other U.S. swimming teammates, will pay about $10,800 to an unnamed Brazilian charity and then leave the country, his attorney told the Associated Press early Friday.

Police discredit Ryan Lochte’s robbery story, say swimmers owe Rio an apology

According to attorney Breno Melaragno, Brazilian law allows people charged with minor offenses to make a donation to charity to avoid criminal prosecution. He didn’t tell the AP what charge, if any, Feigen was facing. The swimmer won a gold medal as part of the Americans’ 4×100-meter freestyle relay team at this year’s Olympics, taking home $25,000.

Brazilian authorities say Feigen, Lochte, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger concocted the robbery story after a drunken incident early Sunday morning at a Rio gas station in which two of the men urinated at the back of the station and Lochte punched an advertisement in a metal frame. Employees at the gas station alerted security, who appeared on surveillance-camera footage to detain the foursome at gunpoint until police arrived. The swimmers settled the matter by paying off the gas station with about $50 in cash and were allowed to leave.

Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist, claimed the group had been robbed at gunpoint during an interview with NBC on Sunday afternoon but has since changed the details of his story multiple times. He returned to the United States earlier this week, before Brazilian authorities could question him further. Bentz and Conger left Brazil on Thursday night after giving testimony to the police, according to the AP.

Sally Jenkins: Lochte is a swimmer caught in a riptide of self-absorption

It’s unclear whether Lochte will face a false-reporting charge, though Brazilian police reportedly have recommended that he be indicted.

“On behalf of the United States Olympic Committee, we apologize to our hosts in Rio and the people of Brazil for this distracting ordeal in the midst of what should rightly be a celebration of excellence,” the U.S. Olympic Committee said in a statement Thursday night.