Thursday, April 18

Dani Alves trial: Ex-Brazil player guilty of nightclub rape

Brazilian soccer player Dani Alves sits in the dock during his trial for alleged sexual assault at Barcelona's Court in Barcelona, Spain, 05 February 2024.
Image caption,Dani Alves was first arrested in January 2023 and has been in pre-trial detention ever since

A court in Spain has found former Barcelona and Brazil footballer Dani Alves guilty of raping a woman in a Barcelona nightclub.

He has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

The 40-year-old, who is one of the most decorated footballers in history, had denied sexually assaulting the woman in the early hours of 31 December 2022.

His lawyer had asked for him to be acquitted and Alves can appeal against the sentence.

Alves had been accused of luring the woman to a toilet in a VIP section of the nightclub and had argued that she could have left “if she wanted to”. However, the court found that she did not consent.

In a statement, the court said there was evidence other than the victim’s testimony that proved that she had been raped.

It also ordered him to pay €150,000 (£128,500) to the victim.

Alves has been held in pre-trial detention since January 2023 and during the course of this month’s trial he has changed his testimony on a number of occasions.

He first denied knowing his accuser only to later claim he had met her in the toilet but that nothing had happened between them.

He then changed his version of events again, saying that they had had consensual sex. “We were both enjoying ourselves,” he alleged.