Former Barcelona player Alves denies nightclub rape

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Former Barcelona and Brazil footballer Dani Alves denied raping a woman in a nightclub as he took the stand on the final day of his trial in Spain.

The 40-year-old has been incarcerated without bail since his arrest in January last year. During his testimony in a Barcelona court, he asserted that the woman could have departed “if she desired,” emphasizing that he was “not a violent individual.”
Prosecutors are seeking a nine-year prison term along with financial restitution.
Please note that this story includes distressing details.
The accuser of Mr. Alves had previously informed the court that he had enticed her into a restroom in the VIP area of a Barcelona nightclub before coercing her into sexual intercourse.

During his 20-minute testimony, Mr Alves said: “If she wanted to leave, she could have left, she was not obligated to be there.”

He added that “at no time” had she asked to leave, according to AFP news agency.

The footballer also refuted allegations of assaulting the young woman.
According to prosecutors, Mr. Alves and his friend purchased champagne for three young women before persuading one of them to accompany him to an area with a restroom, which she was unaware of.
Once inside, prosecutors claim that he became violent, coercing the woman into sexual activity despite her repeated pleas to be released.
Earlier on Wednesday, a psychologist who treated the woman following the alleged assault testified that they had not found any evidence suggesting that she fabricated or exaggerated the situation.
Additionally, the psychologist noted signs of post-traumatic stress disorder in the woman.
Defense experts argued that the woman’s distress could have been influenced by the intense media scrutiny surrounding the case.
On Tuesday, a friend of Mr. Alves testified in court that he had consumed a significant amount of alcohol prior to entering the nightclub.
His wife, Joana Sanz, aged 31, recounted that he appeared heavily intoxicated upon returning to their Barcelona residence that evening. She mentioned that he stumbled into furniture before collapsing onto the bed.
A friend who accompanied the alleged victim on the night became emotional as she testified in court, describing how the woman had cried uncontrollably after leaving the restroom. She stated that Mr. Alves had inflicted significant harm upon her.
Initially, Mr. Alves denied any acquaintance with the alleged victim in a television interview. However, he later admitted to engaging in sexual intercourse with her, asserting that it had been consensual.
In Spain, allegations of rape fall under the umbrella of sexual assault, and convictions can result in prison terms ranging from four to 15 years.
The prosecution in this case is requesting a nine-year prison sentence for Mr. Alves, along with a €150,000 (£128,000) compensation payment to the woman.
A verdict is anticipated in the coming weeks.
In August, Mr. Alves was officially charged, and subsequently, a court determined that there was sufficient evidence to proceed with a trial.
Despite repeated appeals for bail, the courts consistently refused to grant his release, deeming the Brazilian national a flight risk.
Mr. Alves boasts an illustrious football career, having played for numerous top-tier clubs such as Barcelona and Paris St Germain.
During his time at Barcelona, he accumulated over 400 appearances, securing six league titles and three Champions League trophies across two stints. Additionally, he represented Brazil in the 2022 World Cup.
In January 2023, his most recent club, Mexican side Pumas UNAM, terminated his contract with immediate effect.