Brazil footballer Dani Alves on trial for sex assault

Brazilian soccer star Dani Alves has gone on trial in Barcelona accused of sexual assault.

Brazilian soccer star Dani Alves has gone on trial in Barcelona accused of sexual assault. Photo: Getty

Brazilian soccer star Dani Alves has gone on trial in a Spanish court, a year after he allegedly sexually assaulted a young woman at a Barcelona nightclub.

Alves, a former Barcelona player, is accused of sexually assaulting the woman on December 31, 2022.

He denies any wrongdoing.

After arriving in a police van, Alves took a seat in the courtroom dressed in a white dress shirt and a pair of jeans. His mother was also present at the courthouse.

The trial is scheduled to run through to Wednesday.

State prosecutors are seeking a nine-year prison sentence for Alves if convicted while the lawyers representing his accuser want 12 years.

Under Spain’s 2022 sexual consent law, sexual assault takes in a wide array of crimes from online abuse and groping to rape, each with different possible punishments.

A case of rape can carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Alves, now 40, was arrested in January 2023 after answering a police summons during a visit to Spain.

A court ordered him to be jailed after analysing the initial police investigation and hearing testimony from the alleged victim, witnesses and the player.

His requests for bail were denied because the court considered him a flight risk, even though he offered to hand over his passport and wear a tracking device.

Brazil does not extradite its own citizens when they are sentenced in other countries.

The trial will be held before a three-judge panel presided over by magistrate Isabel Delgado with 28 witnesses giving evidence on  Monday and Tuesday before the court hears experts on Wednesday.

The court will decide on Monday when Alves and his accuser will testify.

Alves’ arrest shattered his image of a charismatic winner with a lengthy and successful career.

He won major titles with several elite clubs, including Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

He also helped Brazil win two Copa America trophies and an Olympic gold medal at age 38.

He played at his third World Cup in 2022.

The right back was a key part of Barcelona’s golden years playing between 2008 and 2016 as a teammate of Lionel Messi.

He won the Champions League three times during that stretch with the Catalan club, which he briefly rejoined in 2022.

Alves had his contract with Mexican club Pumas terminated immediately after his arrest.


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