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Dani Alves, a Brazilian soccer star who won the gold medal at the 2020 Olympics for his country, was found guilty of raping a woman in Barcelona, Spain, and sentenced to four years and six months in prison.

A three-judge panel at the Barcelona Provincial Court convicted the 40-year-old for the Dec. 31, 2022 incident. He was also ordered to pay the equivalent of $162,000 as compensation for the victim and was banned from approaching the victim’s home or place of work and communicating with her for nine years.

Alves’ lawyer, Inés Guardiola, said she would appeal the verdict.

The former Brazil and Barcelona defender was accused of raping the victim in the bathroom of a Barcelona nightclub. The court considered it proof that the victim did not consent to sex and there was evidence, in addition to the defendant’s testimony, that she was raped.

“I am not that kind of man,” Alves testified during his trial.

The victim told state prosecutors she danced with the former soccer star and willingly entered the bathroom. However, when she wanted to leave, she said Alves would not let her. She said Alves slapped her, insulted her and forced her to have sexual relations against her will.

Dani Alves lawyer

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The victim’s attorney sought 12 years in prison for Alves. The soccer player’s lawyer wanted his acquittal or, if he is found guilty, a one-year sentence plus $54,000 in compensation for the victim. The state sought a nine-year sentence.

Alves has been in jail since being detained on Jan. 20, 2023. His request for bail was denied because he was considered a flight risk. Brazil does not extradite its own citizens when they are sentenced in other countries.

Alves was playing soccer in Mexico when he was arrested. The club terminated his contract immediately. 

Dani Alves in 2022

He helped Brazil to a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics. He also helped the team win medals in the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2009 and 2023 and the Copa America in 2007 and 2019. He was also on Barcelona’s squad when they won the Champions League in 2009, 2011 and 2015.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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