Brazilian footballer Dani Alves denies raping woman in Barcelona nightclub

7 February 2024, 19:14

Spain Soccer Dani Alves Sexual Assault Trial
Spain Soccer Dani Alves Sexual Assault Trial. Picture: PA

Alves, 40, was escorted in handcuffs into the small courtroom where he gave evidence.

Brazilian football star Dani Alves has denied accusations that he raped a young woman in a Barcelona nightclub.

After two days of listening to evidence from the alleged victim, witnesses, police and experts, Alves testified that their encounter was consensual.

His accuser said that Alves raped her in the toilets of an exclusive nightclub early in the morning of December 31 2022.

“I am not that type of man,” Alves said, after his defence lawyer asked if he had forced her to have sex.

State prosecutors are seeking a nine-year prison sentence for Alves if convicted while the lawyers representing his accuser want 12 years.

Spain Soccer Dani Alves Sexual Assault Trial
Dani Alves denies raping a young woman (Alberto Estevez/Pool Photo via AP)

Alves, 40, was escorted in handcuffs into the small courtroom wearing a long-sleeve white sweater, dark trousers and glasses.

His mother was present outside, as she has been the entire trial. His wife was only there on Tuesday when she testified that he had arrived home “smelling of alcohol” after the alleged assault.

The three-day trial concludes on Wednesday. A verdict normally takes weeks to be delivered.

His accuser testified on Monday behind closed doors on order of the court. State prosecutors asked for the court to take extra measures to protect her identity after a video circulated on social media last month that allegedly identified the woman.

In evidence given to state prosecutors last year, the woman said she met Alves in a VIP area of the Sutton nightclub after midnight where she had gone with a friend and a cousin.

She said she accompanied Alves into a private bathroom where he allegedly slapped her, used insulting language and raped her.

A friend and cousin of the alleged victim who went dancing with her that night told the three-judge panel on Monday that after she exited the bathroom she was distraught and told them Alves “hurt her badly” by forcing her to have intercourse without her consent.

Brazil v South Korea – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Round of 16 – Stadium 974
Dani Alves has played for Brazil in three World Cups (Mike Egerton/PA)

Police officers who attended to the alleged victim testified she was greatly shaken and told them she had been sexually assaulted by Alves.

The officers said on Tuesday she had to overcome her fears that “nobody would believe her” before she formally accused Alves. Another officer said the woman told him “I don’t want money, I want justice”.

Alves’ friend who was with him that night said the football player drank wine and whisky before going to the nightclub. Being drunk can be considered an extenuating factor by a court and lead to a shorter prison sentence.

According to his friend, Alves and the alleged victim danced together and showed “chemistry” before going into the toilet and that he had not noticed anything wrong with the woman afterward.

A forensic psychologist who examined the woman testified on Wednesday that she was suffering from “post-traumatic” symptoms, a conclusion that was disputed by an outside expert called by the defence.

Alves has been in detenton since being detained on January 20 2023. His requests for bail were denied because the court considered him a flight risk, despite his offer to hand over his passport and wear a tracking device.

Brazil does not extradite its own citizens when they are sentenced in other countries.

Alves won major titles with elite clubs including Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

He also helped Brazil win two Copa Americas and an Olympic gold. He played at his third World Cup, the only major title he has not won, in 2022. He played for Barcelona from 2008-16 and briefly rejoined the club in 2022.

Alves’ contract with Mexican club Pumas was terminated immediately after his arrest.

By Press Association

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