Convicted of rape, ex-Brazil star Dani Alves freed on bail for $1M: court

By AFP   March 20, 2024 | 04:51 am PT
Convicted of rape, ex-Brazil star Dani Alves freed on bail for $1M: court
Brazil's Dani Alves in their match against Cameroon at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Dec. 2, 2022. Photo by FIFA
Former Brazil international footballer Dani Alves is to be released from jail pending an appeal against his rape conviction in exchange for posting bail of one million euros ($1.08 million), a Barcelona court said Wednesday.

The ruling came a day after his lawyer requested the 40-year-old's release on grounds he had already served a quarter of his four-and-a-half-year sentence in pre-trial detention following his arrest in January 2023.

In its ruling, the court granted him "provisional release" in exchange for "the bail payment of 1,000,000 euros" also requiring he hand over his Spanish and Brazilian passports, remain in Spain and present himself to court "on a weekly basis".

Public prosecutors had opposed his request, arguing he posed a high-flight risk.

One of the world's most decorated footballers who played for Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, Alves was sentenced on Feb. 22 after being convicted of raping a young woman at a Barcelona nightclub in December 2022.

His lawyers swiftly appealed the conviction.

The victim, who testified behind a screen to protect her identity, said Alves had violently forced her to have sex in a private bathroom of the nightclub despite begging him to release her, causing her "anguish and terror", prosecutors said.

Alves' lawyers had argued the victim had been "glued" to the player while dancing at the nightclub, saying there was "sexual tension" between them.

But in its 61-page decision, the court said that did not mean "that she consented to anything that might have subsequently happened."

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