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Dani Alves sentenced to jail for sexual assault

Sports Desk | banglanews24.com
Update: 2024-02-22 15:56:01
Dani Alves sentenced to jail for sexual assault Dani Alves sits during his trial in Barcelona earlier this month. [Photo: Collected]

The former Brazil footballer Dani Alves was found guilty of sexually assaulting a young woman and sentenced to four years, six months in prison on Thursday.

The ruling by three-judge panel in a Barcelona court followed a three-day trial this month. Alves, 40, denied any wrongdoing during the trial. He can appeal against the decision.

The court found Alves sexually assaulted his victim early in the morning of 31 December 2022, when she said he raped her in a bathroom of an upmarket Barcelona nightclub.

State prosecutors had sought a nine-year prison sentence for Alves while the lawyers representing his accuser wanted 12 years. His defence asked for his acquittal, or if found guilty a one-year sentence plus €50,000 (£43,000) compensation for the victim.

Alves has been in jail since being detained on 20 January. His requests for bail were denied because the court considered him a flight risk. Brazil does not extradite its citizens when they are sentenced in other countries.

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.

The conviction shatters Alves’s legacy as one of football’s most successful players. Alves won dozens of titles with elite clubs including Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. He also helped Brazil win two Copa Américas and an Olympic gold medal. 

He played at his third World Cup, the only major title he has not won, in 2022. He played for Barcelona from 2008-16 and briefly rejoined the club in 2022. He still has a residence near the city.

He was with the Mexican club Pumas when 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 Fermín bull-running festival in Pamplona in 2016.

Source: The Guardian 

BDST: 1555 HRS, FEB 22, 2024
MN
 

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