THE FORMER Barcelona and Brazil footballer Dani Alves will face trial on charges of sexual assault of a woman in a Barcelona nightclub last December, a court said this Tuesday.
Alves was arrested on January 20 after voluntarily reporting to a police station and has been held in a prison outside Barcelona.
If found guilty he could face a jail sentence of four to 15 years.
He has maintained that he had consensual sex with his 23-year-old accuser at the Sutton club.
In a document signed by three Barcelona judges of investigation, they said there were sufficient grounds for Alves to stand trial, following requests by the public prosecutor and the woman’s lawyer.
No trial date has been set, but prosecutors and the defence now have five working days to present documents in which they must argue whether Alves should be acquitted or convicted and, if found guilty, what the penalty ought to be.
The Prosecutor’s Office and the private prosecution will ask for eight years in prison while his lawyer will argue that the relationship was consensual and will ask for an acquittal.
Alves has been in custody since January 20 and his lawyer has requested several times that he should be bailed.
The last rejection was in June, when the court ruled that none of his proposals warranted his release, with prosecutors branding him a ‘flight risk’.
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