Previous FC Barcelona star gets sentenced over rape allegations


(MENAFN) In a significant legal development, retired Brazilian footballer Dani Alves, a former star player for FC Barcelona, has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison by Catalonia's top court in Spain. The verdict comes after Alves was found guilty of raping a woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022, with the court ordering him to pay EUR150,000 (USD163,000) in compensation to the victim.

The incident took place in the bathroom of an upscale nightclub in Barcelona, and the 40-year-old footballer has been convicted of the attack. The court's statement emphasized that it has been proven that the victim did not consent, and there is substantial evidence, including the plaintiff's testimony, supporting the conclusion of rape.

The 23-year-old accuser, who maintained her anonymity throughout the trial, recounted that Alves had forcefully compelled her to engage in sexual acts in a private bathroom of the Sutton nightclub in central Barcelona. Prosecutors argued during the three-day trial that Alves' refusal to release her, despite her pleas, caused significant anguish and terror to the victim.

Police who responded to the scene of the attack testified in court that the victim was in a state of shock and displayed considerable anxiety, expressing concerns that nobody would believe her if she reported the incident to the authorities.

In his defense, Alves maintained that he considered the encounter to be consensual, stating, "I am not that type of man, I am not violent." He argued that the woman was not obligated to stay and could have left if she wanted to. However, the court's verdict contradicts Alves' claims and underscores the seriousness of the charges.

The sentencing of a prominent football figure like Dani Alves for such a crime raises questions about the accountability of individuals in the spotlight and the larger issue of addressing sexual assault within the sports community. The case will likely prompt discussions around consent, power dynamics, and the responsibility of public figures in influencing attitudes towards such crimes.

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