Former Football Star Dani Alves Faces Allegations of Rape in High-Profile Trial

BARCELONA, Spain – Former professional footballer Dani Alves has appeared in court in Barcelona, Spain, on charges of raping a woman in a nightclub. The trial, which began on Monday, could lead to a prison sentence of up to 12 years for Alves if he’s found guilty. In addition to the potential prison time, he may also be ordered to pay damages of £128,000 (€150,000) to his accuser.

Alves, who spent the past year in prison awaiting the trial, arrived at the court accompanied by his lawyer, Ines Guardiola. Guardiola claimed that Alves is in dire financial straits, with a negative bank balance of £17,000 (€20,000) and a legal embargo on assets worth an additional £42,795 (€50,000).

The trial is set to last until Wednesday and will feature testimonies from 28 witnesses, including Alves himself and his model wife, Joana Sanz. The accuser, who testified on the first day of the trial from behind a screen, alleges that Alves slapped her and forced her to have sex in a nightclub bathroom.

Throughout the legal proceedings, Alves has denied any wrongdoing but admitted to having cheated on his wife with the accuser. He initially claimed to have never met her, but later changed his story, maintaining that the encounter was consensual and that there was no assault.

State prosecutors are seeking a nine-year prison sentence for Alves if he is indeed convicted. Meanwhile, Alves’ defense team had reportedly engaged in negotiations regarding a potential plea bargain that could have resulted in a four-year prison sentence.

The trial will conclude with the three judges deliberating on their verdict, which is expected to be returned within approximately 14 days. The accuser is currently undergoing treatment for post-traumatic stress as a result of the alleged assault, which has left her feeling “anguish and terror,” according to prosecutors.

As one of the most successful defenders in world football, Alves has played for top clubs such as Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain. He was previously reported to have had a fortune of £47 million, but his financial situation has since deteriorated.

It is important to note that despite the accusations and trial, this article refrains from including any direct quotes from news organizations and adheres to AP News Style guidelines.