Breaking: Barcelona legend, Dani Alves, sent to jail over sexual assault

Catalonia’s top court on Thursday found former Brazil footballer Dani Alves guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022, sentencing him to four and a half years in prison.

The court also ordered that Alves pay €150,000 ($162,990) to the victim.

“The sentence considers that it has been proven that the victim did not consent, and that there is evidence, in addition to the testimony of the plaintiff, to consider the rape proven,” the court said in a statement.

Alves had maintained the sex was consensual. The prosecutor was seeking a nine-year prison term.

Alves, 40, was first arrested in January 2023 after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman in the bathroom of an upscale Barcelona nightclub in the early hours of Dec. 31, 2022.

He had remained in preventive pre-trial prison in Spain ever since, with a judge turning down regular requests for bail and deeming him a flight risk.

The case was heard over three days at a court in Barcelona earlier this month, with Alves changing his story for the fifth time shortly before the trial began.

At first, he maintained he did not know the alleged victim. He later said he had met the woman in the bathroom of the club but that nothing happened.

The former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain defender, when confronted with biological evidence, changed his version of events again, saying she had consensually performed oral sex on him.

Last April, following the results of further biological tests, Alves admitted for the first time that he had sex with the woman, claiming it was consensual and that he had lied to hide his infidelity to his wife.

ESPN