State prosecutors are seeking a nine-year prison sentence for Alves, while the lawyers representing his accuser want 12 years.
Brazilian soccer star Dani Alves went on trial Monday, a year after he was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a young woman at a Barcelona nightclub.
Alves, a former Barcelona player, has been in pre-trial custody for over a year since he was detained for allegedly sexually assaulting the woman on the night of 31 December 2022. He denies any wrongdoing.
Alves’ requests for bail were denied because the court considered him a flight risk, even though he offered to hand over his passport and wear a tracking device. Brazil does not extradite its citizens when they are sentenced in other countries.
State prosecutors are seeking a nine-year prison sentence for Alves if convicted while the lawyers representing his accuser want 12 years.
Under Spain’s 2022 sexual consent law, the crime of sexual assault takes in a wide array of crimes from online abuse and groping to rape, each with different possible punishments. A case of rape can carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.
In testimony given to state prosecutors, the woman said that she met Alves late at the Sutton nightclub in one of Barcelona’s upscale neighbourhoods after midnight. She accompanied him into a VIP area and into a private bathroom where he allegedly slapped her, used insulting language and raped her, according to her testimony.
Alves, whose legal name is Daniel Alves, has changed lawyers three times. He initially denied any sexual contact with the woman, before changing his defence months later, admitting the sexual encounter but insisting it was consensual.
The trial will be held before a three-judge panel presided over by Magistrate Isabel Delgado. Twenty-eight witnesses will give testimony between Monday and Tuesday before the court hears Alves, along with experts, on Wednesday.
Alves has been ordered to set aside 150,000 euros to pay his alleged victim if he is found guilty and ordered to pay damages.
The trial is scheduled to run until Wednesday.