HomeFootball NewsDani Alves: Former Barcelona defender set to be released from Spanish prison...

Dani Alves: Former Barcelona defender set to be released from Spanish prison after paying €1m bail

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Former Brazil international Dani Alves, who has been convicted of rape in Spain, has paid his €1m bail and can leave prison pending his appeal, a court has said.

The 40-year-old was given a four-and-a-half year sentence in February for raping a woman in the VIP bathroom of a Barcelona nightclub on December 31 2022.

A court in Barcelona, where the right-back spent most of his hugely successful playing career, agreed last Wednesday to Alves’ request for a provisional release while his appeal was heard.

Alves was given conditions of posting the bail sum, which equates to around £857,000, as well as handing over his Spanish and Brazilian passports, remaining in Spain and presenting himself to court on a weekly basis.

“We hereby inform you that the deposit of Daniel Alves’ bail has been registered in the accounts of the 21st section of the Barcelona court,” a court statement said on Monday.

Alves will reportedly be released within hours, having had previous attempts to secure bail turned down.

The two-time Copa America champion was deemed a flight risk because Brazil does not extradite citizens who are sentenced in other countries.

Agence France-Presse said public prosecutors and the victim’s lawyer, Ester Garcia, have appealed against the decision to grant Alves bail.

“This sends the message that there is justice for the rich, and even if there is a conviction, if you pay bail there are no criminal consequences,” Garcia said last week, calling the move a “very dangerous message for society” and describing her client as “very outraged, very despondent and very frustrated”.

Responding to the granting of bail, Brazil’s president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said money “cannot buy the offence that a man does to a woman by committing rape”.

“When sex is something that is done between two, it has to be allowed and consented to by two,” he added. “This, in fact, is a crime.”

The victim testified behind a screen to protect her identity during the trial. She said Alves had violently forced her to have sex in a private bathroom of the nightclub despite her begging him to let her go, which prosecutors said caused her “anguish and terror”.

Alves’ lawyers argued that the victim had been “glued” to him while dancing at the nightclub, saying there was “sexual tension” between them.

In its 61-page decision, the court said that did not mean “she consented to anything that might have subsequently happened”.

In 2022, Spain’s government passed new legislation – nicknamed the “only yes means yes” law – that strengthened the penal code against rape by requiring explicit consent for sex acts, a move long demanded by assault survivors and women’s rights groups.

Alves was contracted to Mexican club Pumas UNAM at the time of his arrest but sacked soon after being detained.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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