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Brazilian soccer star Dani Alves goes on trial for alleged sexual assault


The state prosecutor’s office is asking for a nine-year prison sentence for Alves, while the lawyers representing his accuser are asking for 12.


Brazilian soccer star Dani Alves went on trial on Monday, a year after he was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a young woman in a Barcelona nightclub.

Alves, a former Barcelona player, has been in pre-trial detention for over a year since he was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting the woman on the night of December 31, 2022. He denies any wrongdoing.

Alves’ bail requests were rejected because the court deemed him a flight risk, even though he offered to hand over his passport and wear a tracking device. Brazil does not extradite its citizens when they are convicted in other countries.

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

According to Spain’s Sexual Consent Law of 2022, the crime of sexual violence includes a wide range of crimes, from online abuse, to groping, to rape, each with different possible punishments. A rape case can carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.

In testimony given to prosecutors, the woman said she met Alves late in the Sutton nightclub, in one of Barcelona’s exclusive neighbourhoods, after midnight. She accompanied him to a VIP area and a private bathroom where, according to her testimony, he slapped her, used abusive language and raped her.

Alves, whose legal name is Daniel Alves, has changed lawyers three times. He initially denied any sexual contact with the woman, before changing his defense months later, admitting the sexual encounter but insisting it was consensual.

The trial will take place before a panel of three judges presided over by magistrate Isabel Delgado. Twenty-eight witnesses will testify between Monday and Tuesday before the court hears Alves, along with experts, on Wednesday.

Alves was ordered to set aside €150,000 to compensate his alleged victim if he is found guilty and ordered to pay damages.

The trial will last until Wednesday.

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