Dani Alves found guilty of sexual assault, sentenced to 4.5 years in prison | Football News - Hindustan Times

Dani Alves, ex-Barcelona star found guilty of sexual assault, sentenced to four and half years in prison

Feb 22, 2024 03:17 PM IST

Dani Alves was arrested in January last year and has been held on remand since.

Former Barcelona star Dani Alves has been found guilty by Catalonia's top court of sexually assaulting a woman in a Barcelona night club in 2022. He has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison, and has also been ordered by the court to pay 150,000 euros to the victim.

Dani Alves sits during his trial in Barcelona, Spain.(AP)
Dani Alves sits during his trial in Barcelona, Spain.(AP)

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

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The case has gained plenty of attention, not only due to Alves' celebrity profile and also because gender violence has become a dominant topic in public discourse in Spain.

A law was passed in 2022, which made consent a key element in sexual assault cases, also increasing minimum prison time for assaults involving violence. Since its passing, it is one of the most high-profile cases in Spain.

The 40-year-old Brazilian was arrested in January last year and has been held on remand since. He has maintained that the sexual act was consensual. Meanwhile, the prosecutor was seeking a nine-year prison term.

Alves' requests for bail were denied because the court considered him a flight risk. Also, Brazil does not extradite its own citizens when they are sentenced in other nations. The victim told state prosecutors that she danced with Alves and willingly entered the nightclub bathroom. But later, when he wanted to leave, Alves didn't let her, and he slapped her, insulted her, and also forced her to have sexual relations against her will.

Also, Alves modified his defense during the investigative phase while in custody. He intially denied any sexual contact, before admitting to sexual relations that he stated were consensual. He stated that he had been trying to save his marriage by not admitting to the encounter earlier.

(With Reuters inputs)

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