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Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

A Spanish court has rendered a verdict against former Brazil international footballer Dani Alves, sentencing him to four and a half years in prison for the charge of rape. The conviction stems from an incident that occurred at a nightclub in Barcelona in December 2022.

Additionally, the court has mandated a five-year probation period for Alves following the completion of his jail term, along with a compensation order of 150,000 euros ($162,000) to the victim.

According to the court’s findings, which were detailed in a statement, the victim did not provide consent, and substantial evidence supported the conclusion of rape. The court outlined the sequence of events, noting that Alves forcefully engaged in sexual activity with the complainant, disregarding her protests and attempts to leave the situation.

Despite prosecutors recommending a nine-year jail sentence followed by ten years of probation, Alves, who contested the allegations, has the option to appeal the verdict. The trial, which commenced earlier this month, saw testimony from both the accuser and the accused, shedding light on the events that transpired at the Sutton nightclub on December 31, 2022.

Alves, renowned for his illustrious career with clubs like Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, maintained his innocence throughout the trial, asserting that the encounter was consensual. However, the victim, shielded from public view during her testimony, recounted a harrowing experience of coercion and distress, supported by corroborative accounts from witnesses.

Witness testimonies, including that of the victim’s friend and attending police officers, painted a picture of the victim’s emotional turmoil and apprehension following the incident. Alves, who attended court proceedings, refuted claims of violence or coercion, emphasizing the voluntary nature of the encounter.

The case took a notable turn when Alves, initially denying any acquaintance with the woman, later admitted to engaging in consensual intercourse but attributed his initial denial to fear of consequences within his personal life. Despite Alves’ assertions and his status as a prominent figure in football, the court has maintained its stance, denying his requests for bail due to flight risk concerns.

Alves’ career, marked by numerous accolades and trophies, now faces a tarnished legacy with this conviction. From his humble beginnings in Brazil to the pinnacles of success with Barcelona, Alves’ journey has taken an unexpected turn, culminating in his dismissal from Mexican club Pumas UNAM following his arrest. As legal proceedings continue, the footballing world awaits the outcome of any potential appeals and the enduring implications for one of its revered figures.

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