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Former star footballer Dani Alves’s rape trial begins


Former Brazilian football star Dani Alves went on trial Monday in Barcelona accused of raping a woman in a local nightclub.

Prosecutors are demanding a nine-year prison sentence, followed by 10 years of conditional liberty. They are also recommending he pay 150,000 euros ($162,000) in compensation to the woman.

The 40-year-old former Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain defender was driven to court in a police van from a prison near the Catalan capital, where he has been held on remand since his arrest in January 2023.

The trial got underway at around 10:30 am (0930 GMT).

Dozens of journalists were on hand outside the court to cover the start of the trial, which is expected to finish on Wednesday with a verdict likely to come several weeks later.

Alves was arrested after a young woman accused him of raping her in a bathroom of the VIP area of the upmarket Sutton nightclub in Barcelona in the early hours of December 31, 2022.

The three-time Champions League winner has said they had consensual sex after initially denying knowing the woman during a television interview.

According to the prosecution, Alves — who was on holiday in Barcelona at the time after playing for Brazil at the World Cup in Qatar — offered champagne to the young woman and her friend.

Alves then allegedly invited the woman to enter a small enclosure at the nightclub, which she says she did not know was a lavatory.

Once inside the footballer showed a “violent attitude” and forced her to have intercourse despite her resistance, prosecutors say according to the indictment.

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