Barcelona, Spain – Former Barcelona and Brazil footballer Dani Alves vehemently denied allegations of rape as he testified in court on the final day of his trial. The 40-year-old has been held in prison without bail since his arrest in January of last year. Prosecutors are seeking a nine-year prison sentence and financial compensation.
Alves addressed the court in Barcelona, asserting that the woman involved could have left the situation if she wanted to, emphasizing that he is not a violent person. Alves’ accuser had previously testified that he had lured her into a toilet in the VIP section of a nightclub before forcing her to engage in sexual activities against her will.
During his testimony, Alves maintained that the woman was not obligated to stay and claimed that at no point did she ask to leave. He also denied allegations of physically assaulting her. Prosecutors allege that Alves and a friend had purchased champagne for three young women, and later coerced one of them into accompanying him to a private area with a hidden toilet. Once inside, it is claimed that Alves became aggressive, disregarding the woman’s pleas for him to stop.
Earlier during the trial, a psychologist who treated the alleged victim testified that there were no indications of fabrication or exaggeration and that she exhibited signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, defense experts argued that the intense media scrutiny surrounding the case could have influenced the alleged victim’s reaction.
Testimonies from acquaintances also painted a picture of Alves being under the influence of alcohol on the night in question. His wife attested to his intoxicated state when he returned home, while a friend of the alleged victim described her as being in considerable distress and expressing that Alves had “really hurt” her.
The Brazilian footballer initially denied any knowledge of the alleged victim in a television interview but later acknowledged having consensual sex with her. In Spain, rape accusations are investigated as sexual assault cases, with potential prison sentences ranging from four to 15 years. The prosecution is seeking a nine-year jail term for Alves, along with damages of €150,000.
A verdict in this high-profile trial is expected in the coming weeks. Alves, who has enjoyed a successful career playing for top clubs such as Barcelona and Paris St Germain, is considered one of the most decorated footballers in history. However, his contract with Mexican side Pumas UNAM was terminated in January 2023.
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