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Former FC Barcelona Full Back Dani Alves Sentenced To Prison Over Sexual Assault

Former FC Barcelona and Brazil footballer Dani Alves has been sentenced to 4 years and 6 months in prison for sexual assault. The court found that Alves sexually assaulted the victim in the early hours of December 31, 2022, allegedly raping her in a bathroom at a prestigious nightclub in Barcelona.

Edited By : Shashwat Nishant | Updated: Feb 22, 2024 17:06 IST
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Dani Alves sentenced

Former Brazilian footballer Dani Alves has been convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman and has been sentenced to four years and six months in prison by a three-judge panel in a Barcelona court. The verdict comes after a three-day trial earlier this month. Alves, aged 40, denied the allegations throughout the trial and has the option to appeal the decision.

The court found that Alves sexually assaulted the victim in the early hours of December 31, 2022, allegedly raping her in a bathroom at a prestigious nightclub in Barcelona. Prosecutors had sought a nine-year prison term for Alves, while the accuser’s lawyers requested a 12-year sentence. Alves’ defense team had asked for either an acquittal or, if found guilty, a one-year sentence along with €50,000 in compensation for the victim.

Alves has been in custody since his arrest on January 20, 2023, with his bail requests being denied due to concerns that he might flee the country. Brazil does not extradite its citizens for crimes committed abroad.

According to the victim’s testimony, she danced with Alves and willingly accompanied him to the nightclub bathroom, but alleged that he prevented her from leaving afterward. She claimed that Alves slapped and insulted her before forcing her into sexual intercourse against her will.

Alves initially denied any sexual contact with the victim but later admitted to consensual relations, stating that he had tried to save his marriage by initially denying the encounter. During the trial, his defense argued that Alves was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

Big Blow To Alves’ Reputation

The conviction tarnishes Alves’s reputation as one of football’s most successful players, having won numerous titles with prestigious clubs such as Barcelona, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain. He also contributed to Brazil’s victories in two Copa Américas and an Olympic gold medal, although he fell short of winning the FIFA World Cup. Alves had a brief return to Barcelona in 2022 and still maintains a residence in the city.

At the time of his arrest, Alves was playing for the Mexican club Pumas, which promptly terminated his contract.

The Alves case is notable as one of the first high-profile sexual assault cases in Spain following the country’s 2022 legal reforms, which emphasized consent in defining sexual offenses in response to public outcry over a gang-rape incident during the San Fermín bull-running festival in Pamplona in 2016.

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First published on: Feb 22, 2024 05:06 PM IST

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