Brazilian footballer Dani Alves on trial in Spain for alleged sexual assault

    The Hawk
    February5/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Former Barcelona and Brazil footballer Dani Alves faces trial in Barcelona over allegations of sexual assault in a nightclub in 2022.

    Brazil's Dani Alves

    Barcelona: Former Barcelona and Brazil footballer Dani Alves will go on trial in Barcelona on Monday over a claim that he sexually assaulted a woman in the bathroom of a nightclub in the city in 2022.

    The 40-year-old defender was arrested in January of last year in the Spanish city and has been held in prison since then.

    Alves initially denied any sexual encounter with the woman whom he said he did not know.

    He later said he had consensual sex with his accuser, saying he had denied it originally to protect his marriage.

    The case has attracted significant attention not only because of Alves' profile but because sexual assault is a dominant political theme in Spain, more notably still following the alleged non-consensual kiss Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales planted on the lips of a female player following her team's Soccer World Cup win last August.

    In Spain, a claim of rape is investigated under the general accusation of sexual assault and convictions can lead to jail time of between four and 15 years.

    A Spanish public prosecutor is seeking a nine-year prison term and for Alves to pay damages worth €150,000 ($163,215.00) to the woman.

    A panel of three judges will chair a trial expected to last three days at Barcelona's highest courthouse. It will include the testimony of Alves, the alleged victim and about 30 other people.

    The alleged victim will testify from behind a screen and in the recording of the trial her voice and image will be distorted to protect her identity.

    The 2016 gang-rape of a teenager during the San Fermin bull-running festival led to the toughening of sexual violence laws in Spain and triggered national soul-searching on the topic that continues to this day as gender violence rates remain stubbornly high.

    Alves is one of the most successful footballers in history having won more than 40 trophies for his country and clubs like Barcelona. Following his arrest, he was fired by Mexico's Pumas UNAM.

    ($1 = 0.9190 euros)