Dani Alves Sentenced to Prison for Raping a Woman on New Year’s Eve

Former Barcelona and Brazilian football icon, Dani Alves, has been handed a prison sentence of four and a half years after being convicted of sexual assault. The verdict comes following a trial that spanned three days earlier this month, where Alves vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

Dani Alves

The court in Spain found the 40-year-old guilty of raping a woman at a nightclub in Barcelona during the New Year’s Eve festivities in 2022. Alves has been in custody since his arrest in January 2023 in connection with the incident.

In addition to the prison term, Alves has been ordered to pay his victim €150,000 (£128,000) in compensation along with covering their legal expenses. The court’s decision can be challenged through an appeal process.

A statement released by the Audiencia de Barcelona outlined the court’s ruling, stating that the victim did not consent to the sexual encounter and provided evidence supporting her testimony. Alves’ requests for bail were denied due to concerns that he might flee the country.

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During the trial, the victim recounted her experience, alleging that Alves had prevented her from leaving the nightclub bathroom, verbally abused her, and forced her into non-consensual sexual activity. Alves initially denied any sexual contact but later changed his defense to claim that the encounter was consensual.

Alves’ defense attempted to argue that he was intoxicated at the time of the incident. However, the court ultimately found him guilty based on the evidence presented.

The conviction marks a significant fall from grace for Alves, who enjoyed a highly successful career with top clubs like Barcelona, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain, winning numerous titles and accolades. He also represented Brazil in multiple international tournaments, including the Copa America and the FIFA World Cup.

Following his arrest, Alves’ contract with Mexican club Pumas was terminated immediately. The case has garnered widespread attention, particularly in light of Spain’s recent legislative changes aimed at addressing sexual assault cases and defining consent more explicitly.

As Dani Alves faces the consequences of his actions, the verdict serves as a stark reminder of the importance of accountability and justice in cases of sexual assault, regardless of the perpetrator’s stature or reputation in the world of sports.