Ryan Lochte who?

While the notorious Rio Olympics swimming star made headlines last year for an apparent false robbery report, his name quickly faded from public view — until Wednesday.

An out-of-court civil resolution prompted the dismissal Wednesday of misdemeanor charges filed against two men who donned anti-Ryan Lochte shirts and stormed onto the “Dancing with the Stars” stage during a live broadcast last year.

Ryan Lochte. Photo via NPR.org

BBC North America — which taped the show’s season premiere last September — contacted the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office to say “they received a payment from the defendants and were not desirous of further prosecution,” according to city attorney’s spokesman Frank Mateljan.

Sam Sotoodeh, 60, and Barzeen Soroudi, 26, could have faced up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if they had been convicted as charged last year with leaving a spectator area and entering a stage, along with interfering with a performance.

“The producers of `Dancing with the Stars’ and Sam Sotoodeh are pleased to have resolved the issues raised last September when Mr. Sotoodeh and his nephew stepped in front of the cameras as a form of non-violent protest,” according to a joint statement released on behalf of Sotoodeh and BBC Worldwide Americas Inc. “All parties agree that there was no need to pursue criminal charges of any kind. Both parties are glad to put the matter behind them.”

The men were protesting the selection of Lochte as a contestant on the ABC show over the swimmer’s account of being robbed while in Brazil for the Summer Olympics. Police in Rio de Janeiro subsequently accused him of fabricating the account, and the United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming announced Sept. 8 that Lochte would be suspended from domestic and international USA Swimming national team competitions for 10 months.

Sotoodeh and Soroudi wore white T-shirts bearing Lochte’s name in a circle with a line through it and rushed onto the dance floor Sept. 12 as one of the judges, Carrie Ann Inaba, discussed Lochte’s performance of the foxtrot with dance partner Cheryl Burke.

Inaba could be heard saying, “Hey, back off. Excuse me,” before the show’s host, Tom Bergeron, said, “We’ll take a break.”

The two were “immediately subdued and escorted out of the building,” according to a representative of BBC Worldwide Productions, which produces “Dancing with the Stars.” They were released from jail the next morning.

At a court hearing last October, Sotoodeh and Soroudi were ordered to stay at least 300 yards away from the Olympic swimmer.

— City News Service

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