Dani Alves, a former player for Barcelona, has been ordered to go on trial for allegedly raping a woman in a nightclub.
The news was delivered to the 40-year-old Brazil international in the prison outside of Barcelona, where he has been detained in preventative detention since his arrest on January 20. “We consider there is sufficient prima facie evidence at this stage to agree the opening of the trial in the terms requested by state prosecutors and the prosecutor acting privately for the alleged victim,” stated three judges of Barcelona’s Provincial Court in a written document made public on Tuesday.
“Without affecting the outcome of the case, the statements made by the accused victim, the witness testimony, and the expert reports that are a part of these proceedings can be deemed sufficient in that regard.”
The accused victim, who is 23 years old, says that on December 30 of last year, she was sexually attacked. Alves asserts that his sex with the complainant was consensual and denies any misconduct.
Five working days will now pass before state prosecutors and the alleged victim’s attorney present their indictments, which will detail the prison term, fines, and compensation orders they are requesting for the football player in the event that he is found guilty. The same length of time will be provided to his defense attorney to make his case in writing, and it is anticipated that he will maintain that Alves is innocent of all charges.
The trial is anticipated to begin in the first part of next year, though no specific date has been scheduled. According to reports from Spain, if found guilty, he may receive a 15-year prison sentence.
The father of two was fired by UNAM Pumas, a Mexican team, when he was arrested in Barcelona at the beginning of the current season. His alleged victim’s version of events was deemed credible by the judges, who also pointed out that Alves had altered his story multiple times as the evidence against him accumulated. Despite his repeated pleas for release, all of his requests have been denied.
Alves stated he had never met his accuser, a woman, before to his detention, but after being detained, he changed his mind. He continued by acknowledging that he had an affair with her, but he maintained that their relationship was consensual.
“The only person I have to ask for forgiveness is my wife, Joana Sanz,” he asserted in a June exclusive interview with Spanish TV and newspaper reporter Mayka Navarro from his cell in Brians 2 Prison, close to Barcelona. I’ve already apologized to her in public because the incident is public, I caused her offense, and she deserves it. However, I must do it openly while I’m incarcerated.
“I can only assume that she felt awful after having sex, that she made a choice, and that she hasn’t been able to pull herself out of the mess she got herself into and that she got me into,” he continued.