Former Brazil footballer Dani Alves sent to prison for rape after trial in Spain

dani alves

Former Barcelona and Brazil footballer Dani Alves has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison after being convicted of raping a woman by a court in Spain.

The Supreme Court of Catalonia found him guilty of sexual assault after an incident in a nightclub on December 31, 2022.

Alves, who was arrested in January 2023 and has been in custody since then, has denied the allegations. After repeatedly changing his story, he insisted that all sexual relations with the woman were consensual.

Following a trial in February 2024, the 40-year-old was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay €150,000 ($160,000) to the victim. He was also given an additional five years of probation.

Alves – whose sentence was reduced from the maximum amount available, according to Spanish media, because the court took into account that he had decided to pay compensation to the victim regardless of the outcome – can appeal against his conviction.

Alves also tried to use as mitigation the fact that he was drunk, but the court rejected it.

His lawyers told reporters outside the court that they insist their client is innocent and that he indeed intends to appeal.

Dani Alves jailed: Former Brazil player found guilty of rape after trial in Spain

Alves was first arrested in January 2023 following an incident in a Barcelona nightclub on New Year’s Eve 2022.

The victim accused Alves of physical aggression and coercing her into having sex with him after she voluntarily entered a nightclub bathroom with him after they danced together.

Alves pleaded not guilty and told the court during the trial: “I’m not that kind of person.” He said they had consensual sex and that he had been drinking that night.

The former right-back, who won 126 caps for Brazil and was part of the squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, was held after his initial arrest and denied bail as he was considered a potential flight risk. Brazilian law provides that its citizens may be protected from extradition.

At trial, the judges found Alves guilty of sexual assault, concluding by stating that: “It has been established that the victim did not consent and that, in addition to the testimony of the prosecutor, there is evidence that deems rape proven.” .”

On the night in question, Alves “grabbed the complainant, threw her to the ground and prevented her from moving,” the court added. He then raped her while “she said no and wanted to leave.”

The case has attracted considerable attention in Spain because of Alves’ profile, but also because of a new law passed in 2022 – known as “Just a yes is a yes” – which made consent a key element in sexual assault cases.

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