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Dani Alves sentenced to four years, six months in jail for rape

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Dani Alves sentenced to four years, six months in jail for rape

A Spanish court on Thursday found Dani Alves, former Barcelona and Brazil footballer guilty of raping a woman in a Barcelona nightclub.

The former defender has been handed a jail sentence of four years and six months.

The 40-year-old former right-back was found guilty of assaulting a woman in a Barcelona nightclub on New Year’s Eve in 2022 and has been in custody since being arrested for the offence in January 2023.

Alves, who must also pay his victim 150,000 euros (£128,000) in compensation and their court costs, has the right to appeal against his sentence, Sky Sports reported.

A statement from the Audiencia de Barcelona on Thursday read: “The Court of Barcelona has condemned footballer Dani Alves to four years and six months in prison for sexual assault.

“The victim must also receive 150,000 euros and have their legal costs paid.

“The sentence takes into consideration that it has been proven the victim did not consent and that there is evidence in addition to their testimony that proves the offence.”

Alves’ requests for bail were denied because the court considered him a flight risk. Brazil does not extradite its own citizens when they are sentenced in other countries.

State prosecutors had sought a nine-year prison sentence for Dani Alves

The victim told state prosecutors she danced with Alves and willingly entered the nightclub bathroom, but that later when she wanted to leave he would not let her.

She said he slapped her, insulted her and forced her to have sexual relations against her will.

Alves modified his defence during the investigative phase while in custody, first denying any sexual contact with her before admitting to sexual relations that he said were consensual.

He said he had been trying to save his marriage by not admitting to the encounter initially.

During the trial, his defence focused on trying to show that Alves was drunk when he met the woman.

Alves won dozens of titles with elite clubs including Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

He also helped Brazil win two Copa Americas and an Olympic gold medal at age 38. He played at his third World Cup, the only major title he has not won, in 2022.

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He was with Mexican club Pumas when he was arrested. Pumas terminated his contract immediately.

The Alves case was the first high-profile sex crime since Spain overhauled its legislation in 2022 to make consent, or the lack thereof, central to defining a sex crime in response to an upswell of protests after a gang-rape case during the San Fermin bull-running festival in Pamplona in 2016.

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