Dani Alves handed four-and-a-half-year prison sentence for sexual assault in Barcelona nightclub

Former Brazilian footballer Dani Alves has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a young woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022, sentencing him to four and a half years in prison.

The decision was reached by a three-judge panel of Catalonia’s top court, following a three-day trial. The court also ordered Alves to pay €150,000 (£120,000) 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 has always stringently denied wrongdoing, claiming sex with the woman was consensual. He can appeal against the ruling.

The 40-year-old, who enjoyed a glittering career primarily playing for Barcelona, was arrested in January last year and held on remand until trial.

State prosecutors had been seeking a nine-year prison term while his victim’s lawyers had sought a 12-year setence. His defence team asked for his acquittal or, if found guilty, a one-year sentence plus €50,000 (£43,000) compensation for the victim.

Alves’s case drew nationwide attention in Spain, where a law a passed in 2022 made consent central to sexual assault cases and increased the minimum prison sentence for violent assault.

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