Alves rape trial date set for February

December 21 – Brazil and Barcelona star Dani Alves’ trial for alleged sexual assault will start February 5.

Alves, accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a Barcelona night club in December 2022, has been in pre-trial jail since January. His requests to be released on bail have been rejected because the court considered him a flight risk.

Prosecutors are seeking a nine-year jail term for the former Barcelona full-back who has maintained he had consensual sex with his accuser.

“I have a really clear conscience regarding what happened that night in the bathroom of the VIP area of the Sutton nightclub,” he told Barcelona-based newspaper La Vanguardia in an interview published in June, his first since his arrest.

“What happened and what didn’t happen. And what didn’t happen is that I forced this woman to do anything that we did.”

When the story first broke – and before he was arrested – Alves told a television station he denied knowing the woman who filed a police complaint against him on January 2.

“I was dancing and having a good time without invading anyone’s space,” he said.

Alves told La Vanguardia that he had lied at first because he was afraid his wife would leave him if he admitted he had been with another woman.

Under Spain’s sexual consent law passed last year, the charge of sexual assault takes in a wide array of crimes from online abuse and groping to rape, each with different possible punishments. A case of rape can carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.

At the time of the incident, Alves was on holiday in Barcelona after playing for Brazil at the World Cup in Qatar. After his arrest, Alves was sacked by his Mexican club Pumas UNAM.

In a highly successful career, Alves won 42 trophies, including three Champions Leagues with Barcelona and two Copa Americas with Brazil. At last year’s World Cup finals in Qatar he became the oldest player to represent Brazil at football’s showpiece tournament.

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