Robinho arrested at home as former Manchester City star to serve nine-year prison sentence for rape

22 March 2024, 05:17 | Updated: 22 March 2024, 05:24

Robinho was arrested for rape
Robinho was arrested for rape. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Kit Heren

Former Manchester City star Robinho has been arrested at home in Brazil after a court ruled he would serve a nine-year prison sentence there, having been convicted of rape in Italy seven years ago.

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Robinho, 40, was detained by police on Thursday at his house in Santos, near Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city.

The former Brazil forward was found guilty of rape in 2017 for his part in a group sexual assault in 2013 when he played for AC Milan.

Italy issued an arrest warrant for the former forward, who also gained 100 Brazil caps, before he was sentenced to jail.

Robinho continues to deny any wrongdoing and insists his sexual relations with the woman at a Milan bar were consensual.

Robinho being driven to police headquarters in Santos
Robinho being driven to police headquarters in Santos. Picture: Alamy

Despite being convicted, he had previously avoided jail for seven years while living in Santos, near Sao Paulo.

Brazil does not extradite its own citizens, which led Italy to seek his imprisonment in his home nation.

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Robinho. Picture: Getty

He will now serve his sentence in Brazil at the request of Italian authorities after nine of 15 judges voted in favour of the player serving his sentence in his home country.

The vote was not to determine whether he was guilty or innocent, but rather whether he should serve the sentence in Brazil.

The first judge to vote, Francisco Falcao, said Robinho could not go unpunished and that diplomatic friction between Brazil and Italy could emerge if the sentence was not served.

"There's no obstacle to validate the execution of his sentence. It was confirmed by a court in Milan, which is the competent authority in this case," he said.

Robinho. Picture: Getty

"The conviction is final. The defendant was not put on trial in absence in Italy, he had representation."

Robinho could still appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. His lawyer has said that he wants a retrial in Brazil.

He handed over his passport to the authorities in March last year.

Robinho played 100 times for Brazil
Robinho played 100 times for Brazil. Picture: Getty

Robinho was signed by Manchester City in 2008 for £32.5 million, heralding the start of club's new era of wealth under their Abu Dhabi owners.

He had a good first few months but never fully settled and moved on after a season and a half, having played 53 times and scored 16 goals in all competitions.