Former Barcelona Star Dani Alves Sentenced to 4.5 Years in Jail for Sexual Assault
Former Barcelona Star Dani Alves Sentenced to 4.5 Years in Jail for Sexual Assault

Former Barcelona Star Dani Alves Sentenced to 4.5 Years in Jail for Sexual Assault

Catalonia's top court sentenced former Brazil football player Dani Alves to four and a half years in jail on Thursday after finding him guilty of sexually abusing a woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022.

Catalonia's top court sentenced former Brazil football player Dani Alves to four and a half years in jail on Thursday after finding him guilty of sexually abusing a woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022.

Alves was also mandated by the court to provide the victim 150,000 euros ($162,990).

The court stated in a statement, "The sentence considers that it has been proven that the victim did not consent and that there is evidence, in addition to the plaintiff's testimony, to consider the rape proven."

This month, Alves, aged 40, was put on trial for three days and denied any misconduct.

It is possible to appeal the ruling.

The 40-year-old former Barcelona defender has been detained on remand since his arrest in January of last year.

The three-time Champions League champion has been sentenced to nine years in prison by the prosecution, with an additional ten years of probation.

Alves is one of the most accomplished football players in the world. During his illustrious career, he played for Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. Earlier this month, he went on trial for allegedly raping a lady at the Sutton nightclub early on December 31, 2022.

Prosecutors added that his accuser, who testified behind a screen to conceal her identity, said that Alves had brutally coerced her into having intercourse in the nightclub's private toilet in spite of her pleas for him to let her go, leaving her feeling "anguished and terrified."

The victim was "crying uncontrollably" after leaving the restroom, and her companion sobbed as she described to the court how Alves had "really hurt" the woman.

When they got to the nightclub, the victim was agitated and in a state of "shock," according to the police officers who attended to her. She also expressed fear that "nobody would believe her" if she made a complaint.

Alves, who was present in court for the entire three-day trial, testified that his sexual encounter with the woman was consensual and denied punching her and seizing her hair.

"I am not that type of man, I am not violent," he told the court after his defense lawyer questioned if he had pushed her to have sex.

"If she wanted to leave, she could have left, she was not obligated to be there," he said.

Alves' companion, who was with him that night, said that the football player consumed wine and whisky before heading to the disco.

His 31-year-old wife, Joana Sanz, told the court on Tuesday that he appeared very inebriated when he returned to their Barcelona house that night and that she did not want to talk to him because of "the state he was in".

Alves "smelled of alcohol" as he entered the bedroom, and "he bumped into several pieces of furniture and collapsed on the bed," she testified.

Alves originally denied knowing the woman in a television interview, but subsequently admitted to having sex with her, claiming it was consensual. He told La Vanguardia newspaper in June that he lied because he was worried his wife would abandon him.

The player has been detained since his arrest in Barcelona in January 2023. His petitions for bail have been routinely denied by courts, which viewed him as a flight risk due to his wealth.

Brazil does not extradite its citizens who are condemned in other countries.

The case has received a lot of attention, not just because of Alves' notoriety, but also because gender violence has become a more prominent topic in Spanish public discourse.

It is one of the most high-profile prosecutions in Spain since a 2022 law made consent a requirement in sexual assault cases and doubled the minimum prison sentence for assaults involving violence.

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