Former soccer player sentenced over sexual assault

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Barcelona
Former Barcelona and Brazil soccer player Dani Alves was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in a Barcelona nightclub and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison, a Barcelona court ruled Thursday.
The Barcelona provincial court, where the trial was held earlier this month, said there was proof that the assault was not consensual, the court press office said in a statement Thursday.
“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 statement said.
Alves, 40, was arrested in January 2023, following the events at a Barcelona nightclub in late December 2022, and he has been held in prison pre-trial since then. He insisted during the trial that the sexual relations were consensual.
In the 61-page sentence, seen by CNN, the three-judge panel wrote that they “considered proven that the accused abruptly grabbed the plaintiff, threw her to the floor and prevented her from moving” to carry out the sexual assault.
The judges added, that was “in spite of the plantiff saying no, that she wanted to leave.”
The court also ordered Alves to pay $162,700 (150,000 euros) to the woman in damages.
A lawyer for Alves, Inés Guardiola, told reporters outside of the courthouse that the former Barça star will appeal the ruling.
Alves is one of the most decorated soccer players of his generation, having won domestic titles in Spain, Italy and France. He also won three Champions League titles with the Blaugrana.