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Dani Alves Testifies in Sexual Assault Trial
- Updated: February 8, 2024
Former Brazilian international footballer Dani Alves has refuted allegations of sexual assault during his testimony in court on Wednesday. The trial, which spanned two days and involved testimonies from the accuser, witnesses, police, and experts, saw Alves maintain that the encounter in question was consensual. The incident allegedly occurred in the early hours of December 31, 2022, at a prestigious nightclub in Barcelona.
Alves vehemently denied the accusations leveled against him, asserting that he is not the type of person to engage in non-consensual sexual relations. According to the woman who pressed charges, she claimed that Alves raped her in a nightclub bathroom after they had danced together. She alleged that when she attempted to leave, Alves prevented her from doing so, slapped her, insulted her, and proceeded to assault her sexually.
Contrary to the accuser’s account, Alves insisted that both parties were mutually enjoying themselves during the encounter. He stressed that at no point did the woman express a desire to leave or indicate any reluctance to engage in sexual activity with him. Furthermore, he denied accusations of physical violence or verbal abuse towards the woman.
The state prosecutor presented arguments supporting the credibility of the accuser’s version of events. Prosecutors are seeking a nine-year prison sentence for Alves if he is found guilty, while the lawyers representing the accuser are pushing for a 12-year sentence. In contrast, Alves’ defense team has requested his absolution or, in the event of a guilty verdict, a one-year sentence plus a compensation of €50,000 ($54,000) for the victim.
Throughout the trial, Alves appeared in court dressed in a long-sleeve white sweater and dark trousers, accompanied by his mother. His wife attended the proceedings on Tuesday, where she testified that Alves returned home smelling of alcohol after the alleged assault.
The trial, which spanned three days, concluded on Wednesday, with the verdict expected to be delivered in the coming weeks. To protect the identity of the accuser, her testimony was conducted behind closed doors, following the circulation of a video on social media allegedly identifying her.
Witnesses, including a friend and cousin of the accuser, testified to her distraught state after the incident, alleging that Alves had sexually assaulted her. Police officers who attended to the woman corroborated her account, stating that she had initially expressed fears of not being believed before formally accusing Alves.
A forensic psychologist testified that the woman exhibited symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder, although this assessment was challenged by an expert called by the defense.
Alves has been in pre-trial detention since his arrest on January 20, 2023. Despite his offer to surrender his passport and wear a tracking device, his bail requests were denied due to concerns that he may flee. If found guilty, Alves has set aside €150,000 ($162,000) to compensate the accuser.
This trial marks a significant legal proceeding under Spain’s reformed legislation, which emphasizes explicit consent in defining sexual crimes. Alves, known for his illustrious football career with clubs like Barcelona, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain, faces serious legal repercussions if convicted.
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By- Sahiba Suri