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Footballer Dani Alves To Face Trial For Sexual Assault In Barcelona

Judge orders prosecution of former Barcelona player after closing investigative phase.

A resolution that was expected. The judge of 

 The judge Concepción Cantón summoned the footballer to court for August 2nd at 12:30pm to make his final pre-trial statement. DAVID OLLER/GETTY IMAGES 

Barcelona court number 15 has ordered the prosecution of footballer Dani Alves for a crime of sexual assault with intercourse, against a young woman at the Sutton nightclub in Barcelona last December, after closing the investigative phase of the case. This means that the ex-Barça footballer, who has been in pre-trial detention since January 20th this year, is one step away from trial, which will take place at the Barcelona Audience court. The judge Concepción Cantón summoned the footballer to court for August 2nd at 12:30pm to make his final pre-trial statement, a procedure in the investigation in which the defendant is asked if they want to add anything else or request evidence, and at the end of which, the prosecution of the person is normally announced. The judge has decided to retain Alves in provisional prison and has set a civil liability bond at 150,000 euros.


Now the two prosecutions in the case, that of the public prosecution service and the private prosecution carried out by the lawyer representing the 22-year-old plaintiff, will have to present their indictments and the penalties they request for the Brazilian, while his lawyers will present their written defence brief. The crime of sexual assault is punishable by up to 12 years in prison. The trial could be held at the end of this year or the beginning of 2024.

The defence lawyers for the footballer, Cristóbal Martell and Arnau Xumetra, asked the magistrate not to delay the resolution of Dani Alves’s prosecution so that the trial can be held as soon as possible, and also requested his release from the Brians 2 prison, 40km (131233.6 feet) from Barcelona, in which he has been incarcerated for over six months. Those court cases in which a defendant is held in custody have priority, even though the Barcelona Audience chambers are currently experiencing several months of delay in scheduling hearings, which has forced the justice authorities to set up temporary chambers for criminal trials. The Barcelona Audience twice refused to set the Brazilian free before the trial, mainly because of the risk of flight and the seriousness of the crime​ he is charged with.

Flight risk

Specifically, in June, the Barcelona Audience refused to release Dani Alves on the grounds that “the risk of flight continues” and because “no other precautionary measure can neutralize this risk with sufficient guarantees, and his escape would prevent the holding of the trial, which requires the presence of the accused”. The defence of Dani Alves reiterated its claim, at the second bail hearing, that there was no flight risk, that the ex-Barça footballer wants to defend himself, that his life is deeply rooted in Barcelona, and his children will come to study here next year. The court took less than a day to respond and, in a very critical resolution, showed its refusal to release the Brazilian.


The footballer, giving his fourth version of the events, affirmed that sex took place in the small toilet of the nightclub’s VIP area, but that the sex was consensual, and that he did not tell the truth in the first court appearance in order to hide it from his wife. The complainant’s lawyer, Ester Garcia, and the public prosecutor opposed the release of the Brazilian on bail because the woman has always maintained that it was sex without consent.

The position is shared by the Barcelona Audience: the court, with judge Carme Gil reporting, affirmed that “there are well-founded indications” of Dani Alves’s authorship of the non-consensual sexual assault. The court also rejected the player’s argument that the relations were consensual because they were previously dancing and flirting. “Even if it was a typical sexual courtship between two adults, as the defence claims, that can in no way justify a subsequent sexual assault,” the court concluded.

The only part remaining to be carried out of the investigation was the examination of the victim to detail possible sequelae, which the court permitted to be performed jointly by the court’s expert and the defence expert. And, once done, judge Concepción Cantón finally pronounced the investigation into Dani Alves to have been completed, and sent him to trial.

Produced in association with El Nacional En

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