Alves to appeal rape convinction

February 23 – Convicted sex offender Dani Alves is to appeal against his four-and-a-half sentence.

The Brazilian international, one of the most decorated footballers in history, was found guilty this week of sexually assaulting a woman in a Barcelona nightclub on New Years Eve in 2022.

The judgement followed a three-day trial in which Alves, who won 43 major trophies and played in three World Cups, denied any wrongdoing.

State prosecutors had sought a nine-year prison sentence while the lawyers representing his accuser wanted 12 years. Alves’ defence, conversely, asked for a total acquittal, or if found guilty a one-year sentence plus €50,000 compensation for the victim.

Alves’ lawyer Inés Guardiola confirmed her client was planning to appeal the sentence.

“Four-and-a-half years is much better than nine and 12 that the accusation requested, but we are going to appeal because I still believe in Mr Alves’ innocence,” she told reporters.

“We are going to review the sentence, but I can tell you that we are going to appeal. We continue to believe in the innocence of Mr Alves. We will defend his innocence to the end.”

The victim’s lawyer, Ester Garcia, meanwhile questioned whether it was fair that defendants with money should be able to pay for a lighter sentence.

“I reserve the right to take legal action and it is my understanding that from a legal point of view there should be an appeal,” Garcia said.

Even so, Garcia said her client was satisfied that Alves had been found guilty. “In the end, they believed me,” the victim said, according to Garcia.

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