Brazil's Dani Alves gets 4-1/2 years for rape in Spain

February 23, 2024 12:06 pm

Dani Alves [Source: Reuters]

Brazilian footballer Dani Alves was convicted of raping a woman in the restroom of a Barcelona nightclub in 2022 and sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison on Thursday, which he will appeal.

The top court in Spain’s Catalonia region also ordered Alves, who has been jailed on remand for over a year and repeatedly changed his story, to pay 150,000 euros ($163,000) to the victim.

Once his prison term ends, Alves, 40, will be under probation for five years.

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But he will soon be able to request leave for short periods from the prison near Barcelona where he is being held once he has served a quarter of the sentence and meets other requirements, a court official said.

The court said that as well as the victim’s testimony, it considered as evidence that she suffered a knee injury after Alves pushed her to the floor, as well as Alves’ behaviour and hers following the event and the fact she suffered after-effects.

The prosecutor had sought a nine-year prison term for Alves and the victim requested 12 years but the court landed on 4-1/2 years, saying it considered as a mitigating factor that he had opted to pay the victim the compensation regardless of the outcome of the trial.

Alves’ lawyer Ines Guardiola told reporters outside the court that her legal team was going to appeal.

The victim’s lawyer, Ester Garcia, questioned whether it was fair that defendants with money should be able to pay for a lighter sentence.

The former Barcelona defender was arrested in January last year and has been in prison since then. He was taken to the courthouse on Thursday to hear the ruling, which came two weeks after the trial had concluded.

Alves changed his version of events several times. He initially denied knowing the woman, then said she had only performed oral sex on him and eventually admitted to full intercourse but Alves claimed it was consensual.