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Dani Alves Sentenced To Jail

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A top court in Barcelona has sentenced former Brazil international Dani Alves to four and a half years in prison, having been found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022. The court also ordered him to pay €150,000 ($162,990) to the victim.

"The sentence considers that it has been proven that the victim did not consent and that there is evidence, in addition to the testimony of the plaintiff, to consider the rape proven," the court said in a statement.

"We are satisfied as the sentence recognizes what we've been saying all along that the victim was telling the truth and that she suffered," the victim's lawyer David Saenz told reporters, adding that his team would still analyze whether the sentence corresponds to the gravity of the crime.

Alves, 40, had maintained the sex was consensual, and his lawyers told reporters outside the courthouse that he intends to appeal the sentence, which also includes a five-year probation upon release and a nine-and-a-half-year restraining order. "We are going to appeal. I still believe in Dani Alves' innocence. We haven't read the whole sentence yet because it's very long, but we are going to study it in detail now. We defend [Alves'] innocence."

He was first arrested in January 2023 after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman in the bathroom of an upscale Barcelona nightclub in the early hours of Dec. 31, 2022.

At first, maintained not know the alleged victim, however, He later disclosed that he had met the woman in the bathroom of the club but that nothing happened.

When confronted with biological evidence, the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain defender, changed his version of events again, saying she had consensually performed oral sex on him.

Last April, following the results of further biological tests, Alves admitted for the first time that he had sex with the woman, claiming it was consensual and that he had lied to hide his infidelity to his wife.

Ahead of the hearing, Alves stated for the first time that he was drunk on the night.

The alleged victim told state prosecutors that she danced with Alves and willingly entered the bathroom, but that later when she wanted to leave he would not let her. She said he slapped her, insulted her, and raped her.

Alves denied that, noting that the woman never asked to leave or made any indication that she did not want to have sexual relations with him. He also denied having slapped or insulted her.

During the three-day trial, a friend and cousin of the alleged victim said she was "distraught" after exiting the bathroom, while police officers who attended to her on the night testified she was greatly shaken and told them she had been sexually assaulted by Alves.

Alves' friend who was with him said the footballer had drunk wine and whiskey before going to the nightclub, being drunk can be considered an extenuating factor by a court and lead to a shorter prison sentence.

A forensic psychologist who examined the woman testified that she was suffering from "post-traumatic" symptoms, a conclusion that was disputed by an outside expert called by the defense.

Alves' contract with the Mexican club was terminated immediately following his arrest.