Brazil World Cup Star Jailed for Raping Woman in Nightclub Bathroom

Carl Recine/Reuters
Carl Recine/Reuters

Dani Alves, one of the most decorated stars in soccer history, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison on Thursday after being found guilty of raping a woman in a nightclub in Spain.

The 40-year-old Brazilian World Cup star has been in jail since Jan. 2023 following his arrest in the case. He had continued to deny assaulting the woman in the early hours of Dec. 31 in a bathroom at the venue in Barcelona.

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In addition to his prison sentence, the Barcelona court also ordered him to pay around $162,000 in compensation for the victim. Alves will also be monitored for five years after completing his sentence and was further ordered to not communicate with the victim.

The woman told prosecutors that Alves raped her after she had initially agreed to enter the bathroom with him. She said that when she wanted to leave, the former soccer player wouldn’t allow her to go, and that he became violent. Prosecutors alleged that Alves slapped the victim before forcing her to have sex.

Alves had denied the claims, saying that she could have left if she had wanted. “I am not that kind of man,” he said in court denying the rape allegation, the Associated Press reports.

His story of what happened changed while he was in custody, first telling investigators that no sexual contact had taken place, later admitting that he had relations with the woman but insisting they were consensual. He explained the discrepancy by saying he’d initially denied any encounter had taken place in an effort to save his marriage.

Alves was most recently playing with Mexican team Pumas, but the franchise scrapped his contract following his arrest. FIFA described Alves in 2021 as the most decorated player in soccer history, with dozens of titles to his name during spells with Barcelona, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain. He also won an Olympic gold medal and two Copa America championships with the Brazil national team, and he competed at his third World Cup in 2022.

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