Dani Alves sentenced to four and a half years in prison over sexual assault

He will also pay compensation of €150,000 and legal costs

By Web Desk
February 22, 2024
Dani Alves reacts during a court hearing. - AFP

Footballer Dani Alves has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022 by a court in Spain and been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

He will also pay compensation of €150,000 and legal costs, according to El Partidazo de COPE.

"The sentence considers that it has been proven that the victim did not consent, and that there is evidence, in addition to the testimony of the plaintiff, to consider the rape proven," Catalonia's top court said in a statement.

Alves initially refuted any sexual encounter with the woman, whom he claimed not to know. He later admitted to having consensual sex with her in the VIP bathroom of a nightclub, stating that he initially denied it to protect his marriage.

Alves was in Barcelona after playing in the 2022 World Cup. As per the prosecution, the former player offered champagne to the young woman and her friends after which he invited her to a place inside the nightclub, which the women didn’t know was a lavatory.

After getting inside, Alves showed a “violent attitude” towards the woman once she denied having any sexual activity with him.

"The victim asked him several times... to let her go, saying she wanted to leave but the defendant prevented her from doing so," according to the indictment, which describes a "situation of anguish and terror" for the young woman.

The 40-year-old former Barcelona defender was arrested in January last year and has been held on remand since.

Alves has amassed over 40 trophies representing Brazil and clubs such as Barcelona, Sevilla, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain. After his arrest, he was dismissed by Mexico's Pumas UNAM.

The case has been in the spotlight not only because of Alves' stature but because gender violence has become an increasingly dominant issue in Spain's public discourse.

It is one of the most high-profile trials in Spain since a law passed in 2022 made consent a key element in sexual assault cases and increased minimum prison time for assaults involving violence.