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Dani Alves bags four-year imprisonment for sexual assault

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Dani Alves pays €1m bail, set to leave Spanish prison - Court

Former Brazil footballer Dani Alves has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022.

The court in Catalonia on Thursday sentenced the player to four and a half years in prison.

The court also ordered that Alves pay €150,000 ($162,990) to the victim.

“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,” the court said in a statement.

The Copa America winner had claimed the sex was consensual, and his lawyers informed reporters outside the courthouse that he plans to appeal the term, which includes a five-year probation period upon release and a nine and a half-year restraining order.

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The prosecutor had been seeking a nine-year prison sentence.

“We are satisfied as the sentence recognizes what we’ve been saying all along: that the victim was telling the truth and that she suffered,” the victim’s lawyer, David Saenz, said while speaking to reporters, adding that his team would still analyze whether the sentence corresponds to the gravity of the crime.

Ines Guardiola, Alves’ lawyer, disagreed with the sentence, stating, “We are going to appeal. I still believe in Dani Alves’ innocence. We haven’t read the whole sentence yet because it’s very long, but we are going to study it in detail now. We defend [Alves’] innocence.”

Alves, 40, was arrested in January 2023 after being accused of sexually abusing a lady in the washroom of an expensive Barcelona nightclub early on December 31, 2022.

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The former Barcelona defender had been in preventive pre-trial detention in Spain ever since, with a judge turning down regular release pleas and declaring him a flight risk.

The case was heard over three days in a Barcelona court earlier this month, with Alves changing his narrative for the fifth time just before the trial began.

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