Former Barcelona footballer Dani Alves sentenced to four and a half years in jail over sexual assault

SKY NEWS- Catalonia’s top court found the Brazilian ex-footballer guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in an upscale Barcelona nightclub early on New Years Eve in December 2022.

Former Barcelona and Brazilian footballer Dani Alves has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison after being found guilty of sexual assault.

Catalonia’s top court found him guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in an upscale Barcelona nightclub early on New Years Eve in December 2022.

The victim said Alves raped her in a bathroom. He was also ordered to pay 150,000 euros (£128,479.50) to the victim by the court.

The 40-year-old ex-right-back was arrested in January 2023. He has been detained since then and had requests for bail denied as the court considered him a flight risk.

File pic: AP

The Brazilian Federal Constitution guarantees that no Brazilian citizen can be extradited by the country.

State prosecutors were told by the victim that on the night of the assault, she danced with Alves and willingly entered the nightclub bathroom, but when she later wanted to leave he would not let her.

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

Alves denied any wrongdoing during the trial. As the case was being investigated, Alves said while in custody that he did not have any sexual contact with her.

He later admitted to having sexual relations with the victim but said they were consensual. He said he had been trying to save his marriage by not admitting to the encounter initially.

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

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 euro (£42,765) compensation for the victim.

The courts decision can be appealed.

In October 2022, Spain passed new legislation – dubbed the “only yes means yes” law – which overhauled the criminal code by making sexual consent central in determining assault cases, in a bid to define all non-consensual sex as rape.-SKY NEWS

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