Dani Alves Jailed In Sexual Assault Case
3:29 PM EST on January 24, 2023
Brazilian star and former Barcelona fullback Dani Alves remained in a Spanish jail on Tuesday after he was arrested late last week by Spanish police. According to the Associated Press, the investigation began after a woman told police that Alves sexually assaulted her last month in a Barcelona nightclub.
On Friday, a judge heard testimony from Alves, the woman, and a witness, as well as hearing from prosecutors, according to CNN. The hearing was not open to the public. Afterward, the judge decided that Alves should continue to be held in jail without bail. He was later transferred to a different and smaller detention center due to "security concerns," the Associated Press reported Monday. The same day, El País, citing sources familiar with the investigation, said that the woman had relinquished her right to financial compensation if Alves is convicted, saying she "just wants to ensure that justice is done and that the soccer player goes to prison."
Alves has denied sexually assaulting the woman. The former Barcelona star signed with Mexican side Pumas UNAM last summer; the club has since ended his contract.
The woman's testimony was not public, but outlets have been reporting on what she told authorities based on their own sources. There are some variations between publications, but many details have stayed consistent across the articles published. I will be using El Mundo, El País, and El Periódico de Catalunya to summarize what they have reported so far.
All the publications have reported that Alves went to the Sutton nightclub on Dec. 30 with some friends and stayed into the early hours of the next morning. The woman and two other people, a friend and a cousin, also were at the nightclub, where they get invited to join the VIP area that included Alves. The woman did not know who Alves was; she recalled him telling her that he was a pétanque player in a town outside Barcelona, according to all three publications. Other people in the VIP area eventually told her that the man was Alves. According to El Mundo, Alves and the woman danced, and then Alves tried to put her hand on his penis. El País and El Periódico also reported that Alves attempted to put her hand on his penis, but do not mention the dancing.
At some point afterward, Alves led the woman to a doorway, which turned out to be a bathroom. That is where, according to all three publications, the woman told authorities that Alves sexually assaulted her.
Soon afterward, Alves left. The woman found her friend and her cousin, who alerted the club's security staff, according to all the publications. The woman then went to a hospital for an examination, and on Jan. 2 she filed an official report with the police. La Vanguardia reported that police have since spoken with people who were at the nightclub that night, and the woman's friend has told authorities that Alves groped her as well and tried to put his hand on her "intimate areas."
One reported factor in the judge's decision to have Alves stay in jail was that Alves has changed his account of what happened. On Friday morning, per Brazilian publication Globo, he told the court that he didn't even know the woman. That afternoon, he said something else, Globo reported, telling the court that he did have sex with the woman but it was consensual. El País reported that, per judicial sources, Alves gave three different versions of what happened in his testimony.
Alves also was seen as being a flight risk due to Spain not having an extradition agreement with Brazil. This has been an issue for Italy, where Brazilian soccer star Robinho was convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison for taking part in a 2013 gang rape, per Reuters. Robinho denied the charge but eventually ran out of appeals. Italy's request for extradition has been denied by Brazil.
If convicted, Alves, per El País, would probably face a sentence of between four and 12 years in prison.