Dani Alves denies sexual assault before Barcelona court

Brazil soccer player Dani Alves sits in court during the first day of his trial in Barcelona, Spain, February 5, 2024. Alberto Estevez/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
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BARCELONA,- Brazilian former footballer Dani Alves maintained that he had consensual sex and did not act violently in his encounter with a woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022 as he gave his testimony on Wednesday in a trial on charges of sexual assault.

Speaking calmly, but ending with tears in his eyes, the 40-year-old former Barcelona defender said the complainant had touched his genitals while dancing and willingly accompanied him to a restroom, where she performed oral sex on him and they had a sexual intercourse.

Asked if he forced her to have sex and acted violently or did not allow her to leave the room, Alves said: “Never. I am not that type of man. I am not a violent man.”

Alves’ remarks late on Wednesday wrapped up three days of testimonies in the trial, which now moves to the deliberation phase by a panel of three judges.

The public prosecutor has accused Alves of forcing the woman to have sex without her consent and without using a condom. The 23-year-old woman testified behind a screen with her voice distorted to protect her identity.

The prosecutor is seeking a nine-year prison term and for Alves to pay damages worth 150,000 euros ($163,215) to his alleged victim. The complainant seeks a 12-year prison sentence.

Alves was arrested in January last year and has since been held on remand.

He initially denied any sexual encounter with the woman whom he said he did not know. He later said he had consensual sex with her in the restroom of a nightclub, adding that he had denied it originally to protect his marriage.

The case has attracted significant attention not only because of Alves’ profile but because sexual assault is a dominant political theme in Spain.

Two of the alleged victim’s friends told the court on Monday that Alves groped them that night before allegedly sexually assaulting their friend.

Source: Reuters