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Dani Alves jailed for 4.5 years for sexual assault

February 22, 2024

Brazilian former soccer star Dani Alves has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a young woman in a nightclub, a Spanish court ruled.

Brazilian footballer Dani Alves looks on at the start of his trial at the High Court of Justice of Catalonia
State prosecutors had sought a nine-year prison sentence for AlvesImage: JORDI BORRAS/AFP/Getty Images

A Spanish court on Thursday found Brazilian soccer star Dani Alves guilty of sexually assaulting a young woman in a Barcelona nightclub.

The three-judge panel sentenced Alves to four years and six months in prison.

What we know about the case

Alves was accused of sexually assaulting his victim in a bathroom of an upscale Barcelona nightclub early in the morning of Dec. 31, 2022. The woman said the soccer star raped her.

The 40-year-old had denied any wrongdoing in a trial that took place over three days this month.

State prosecutors called for Alves to be handed a nine-year prison sentence, while lawyers representing his accuser demanded 12 years.

Spanish court imprisons soccer star Alves for rape

Alves' defense called for his acquittal, or a one-year sentence plus 50,000 euros ($54,000) compensation for the victim if he was found guilty.

Alves has been in jail since being detained more than a year ago. The right-back altered his defense case, at first denying any contact before admitting to sexual relations with the victim

Judges denied his requests for bail the court considered him a flight risk. Brazil does not extradite its citizens if they are sentenced in another country.

Dani Alves' soccer career

The player was with the Mexican club Pumas when he was arrested, and the club terminated his contract immediately.

Alves collected dozens of titles with top clubs including Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. He also contributed to Brazil winning two Copa Americas and an Olympic gold medal.

Famously, after a banana was thrown at him in an incident of racist abuse in 2014, Alves was praised for picking up the item and eating it slowly before taking a corner.

rc/wd (AP, AFP, Reuters)