Ex-Barcelona Player Dani Alves’s Rape Trial Begins

  • Faces 12 years jail term on conviction

Former Barcelona and Brazil player, Dani Alves will appear in court today, Monday charged with raping a 23-year-old woman in a Barcelona nightclub.

Alves, 40, who is faced with damning scientific and video evidence, as well as witness accounts, could spend up to 12 years prison sentence if found guilty of the offence.

The prosecution claims that Alves met the woman in the VIP area of the Sutton nightclub on 30 December 2022, addding that after buying her and her friends a drink, he beckoned her to join him in a bathroom, the only area of the club not covered by cameras.

It is further alleged that once inside the bathroom, Alves demanded oral sex and when the woman refused, he raped her, then left the club with his companion.

The victim reported the alleged incident immediately and underwent a medical examination while police cordoned off the bathroom area, where they collected extensive evidence.

Alves was first questioned by police in January 2023 and changed his defence a number of times. Initially he claimed never meeting his accuser, then that she was in the bathroom with him but nothing happened.

He later admitted to having oral sex, then to having had intercourse but claimed it was consensual and that he had denied it because he did not want his wife to find out.

Having changed his lawyer three times, the Brazilian, who has been remanded in prison since his arrest, now claims he was too drunk to know what he was doing.

The case is seen as a test of the judiciary’s attitude to victims of sexual assault after the notorious “wolf pack” case, when five men accused of the gang-rape of a teenager during Pamplona’s running of the bulls festival were found guilty of the lesser offence of sexual abuse.

This led to a public outcry, a retrial and new but flawed legislation on consent, popularly known as the “yes means yes” law.

More recently, in what became Spain’s pivotal #MeToo moment, the issue of consent was raised again after Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish Football Federation (SFF), forcibly kissed Jenni Hermoso during the team’s World Cup victory celebrations. Rubiales now faces prosecution for sexual assault.

Tània Verge, the Catalan Equality Minister, said: “The Alves and Rubiales cases signal the end of impunity for alleged sexual aggressors, regardless of how rich, famous or powerful they are. Even when they try to discredit, defame or coerce the victim, the public demands justice and there’s no going back.”

Alves, who has a record 43 trophies to his name and is ranked as one of the best defenders in the game, joins the list of top-flight players who have faced accusations of rape, among them Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood, Benjamin Mendy and Robinho.

In all but the Robinho case, the charges have either been dropped or the accuser has accepted a financial settlement, something Alves’s alleged victim has repeatedly refused.

Robinho was sentenced to nine years by an Italian court for a rape committed in 2013 but under Brazilian law he cannot be extradited, something the court bore in mind when declaring Alves a flight risk.

The trial, in which the alleged victim will testify from behind a screen and with her voice electronically distorted, is scheduled to last three days.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply