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Former Barcelona star Dani Alves faces trial in Barcelona for alleged rape; Legal battle unfolds

Brazilian footballer Dani Alves, renowned for his success with Barcelona and PSG, is on trial in Barcelona, facing accusations of raping a woman at the Sutton nightclub.

Football Former Barcelona star Dani Alves faces trial in Barcelona for alleged rape; Legal battle unfolds osf
First Published Feb 5, 2024, 11:15 AM IST

Former Barcelona and PSG star, Brazilian footballer Dani Alves, faces trial in Barcelona on charges of raping a woman in a local nightclub. Prosecutors are seeking a nine-year prison term, followed by 10 years of conditional liberty, along with a 150,000 euros ($162,000) compensation order for the accuser. The trial, starting at 9 am GMT and concluding on Wednesday, involves an incident where Alves, now 40, was arrested in January 2023 for allegedly raping a woman in the VIP area of the Sutton nightclub on December 31, 2022.

Alves, who had been on holiday in Barcelona after participating in the World Cup in Qatar, initially denied knowing the woman but later admitted to consensual sex in a television interview. The prosecution contends that Alves offered champagne to the woman and her friend before inviting her into a small enclosure, which she claims she did not realize was a lavatory. Allegedly, the footballer displayed a "violent attitude," engaging in non-consensual intercourse despite her resistance.

Describing the situation as one of "anguish and terror" for the woman, the indictment states that she repeatedly asked Alves to let her go, expressing a desire to leave, but he prevented her from doing so. The woman, who received medical treatment after leaving the nightclub, is undergoing treatment for post-traumatic stress.

Despite Alves' legal team's attempt to have the trial conducted behind closed doors, the proceedings remain open to the public. However, media and the public will not be present when the accuser testifies, as her identity has not been disclosed.

Alves, who is in jail, has been denied release pending trial due to concerns of a flight risk to Brazil, which generally does not extradite its citizens. A plea deal remains a possibility until the trial starts, allowing Alves to admit guilt in exchange for a reduced penalty.

Known for his highly successful career, Alves won 42 trophies, including three Champions Leagues with Barcelona and two Copa Americas with Brazil. The height of his career occurred during his time at Barcelona from 2008 to 2016, where he secured 23 trophies. Alves, also with experience at Juventus and Sevilla, was playing for Mexican club Pumas UNAM at the time of his arrest, leading to his subsequent dismissal.

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