February 05, (THEWILL) – Former Brazilian footballer, Dani Alves, will stand trial in Barcelona on Monday, over a claim he sexually assaulted a woman in a nightclub bathroom in 2022. Alves, who previously played for Barcelona and won over 40 trophies in his career, was arrested in January 2023 and has been held in prison since.
Initially, Alves denied having any sexual encounter with the accuser. However, he later said they engaged in consensual activity, but he denied it to protect his marriage. The public prosecutor is seeking a 9-year prison sentence and €150,000 in damages for the alleged victim.
The high-profile case has drawn significant attention partially due to Alves’ fame but also because sexual assault is a major political issue in Spain. This was highlighted by the 2023 World Cup incident involving Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales.
Over 30 witnesses are expected to testify during the three-day trial. The alleged victim will testify behind a screen, with her voice and image distorted. Since the 2016 gang rape case during the San Fermin festival, sexual violence laws have been toughened in Spain, but gender violence rates remain problematic.
Alves was released by his former club Pumas UNAM following the sexual assault allegations. The 40-year-old full-back is one of the most decorated players in football history, having won major honours with Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.
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Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.