Former Brazil star Dani Alves to testify as his rape trial wraps up

60

The rape trial of ex-Brazil international Dani Alves concludes Wednesday, with the footballer set to tell the court his version of events involving a young woman at a Barcelona nightclub.

The third and last day of the trial will begin at 1400 GMT, with the 40-year-old Brazilian taking the stand last, following testimony from many specialists.

The trial began on Monday, with the victim testifying for more than an hour behind a screen to avoid being identified.

One of the world’s most decorated footballers who played for Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain during a storied career, Alves is accused of raping the woman in the bathroom of the VIP section of the Sutton nightclub in the early hours of December 31, 2022.

The defender was arrested three weeks later and has been detained ever since. He denies all the charges.

Some 20 witnesses took the stand on Tuesday, with the Brazilian friend who was with him on the night in question saying Alves had drunk a lot of alcohol before entering the nightclub.

Various police officers told the court about the victim’s state of agitation and “shock” when they arrived at the nightclub, as well as her anxiety that “nobody would believe her” if she filed a complaint.

On Monday, a friend and a cousin, who were with the victim at the nightclub, had also testified about her anguished state after fleeing the bathroom.

Alves was present in court on both days, appearing in court handcuffed to a police officer and sitting silently in the front row.

– Victim said he ‘really hurt’ her –

Prosecutors say Alves and his friend bought champagne for the three young women, then he asked the victim to go with him to another area where there was a bathroom which she was unaware of.

Once inside, he became violent and forced her to have sex, despite the fact she “repeatedly asked him to let her go” causing her “anguish and terror”, according to prosecutors.

The friend who was with her broke down in tears on Tuesday as she told the court how the victim was “crying uncontrollably” after leaving the bathroom, saying Alves had “really hurt” her.

The footballer, who is accused of “sexual assault with penetration”, has insisted what happened between them was consensual.

Prosecutors are calling for a nine-year jail sentence followed by 10 years of probation and also want him to pay 150,000 euros ($162,000) in compensation.

Alves’s 31-year-old wife Joana Sanz told the court on Tuesday he appeared very drunk when he got back to their Barcelona home that night and she had not wanted to talk to him because of “the state he was in”.