The latest forensic investigation corroborates the statement that was given by the alleged rape victim of Brazilian football player Dani Alves.
The latest developments in the Daniel Alves case
A second round of analysis was conducted by the Barcelona police on the Sutton nightclub, the venue where the 39-year-old footballer is being accused of having sexually assaulted a 23-year-old woman last month (December 2022).
The investigators created a map with the fingerprints of both the footballer and the victim on the supposed crime scene, and the results match the descriptions of the occurrence provided by the woman in her statement.
The information was published by Spanish news outlet El Periodico, and according to them, the fingerprints found on the nightclub’s bathroom are relevant to the case, mainly because they can help the Catalan police force’s Central Sexual Assault Unit (UCAS) to determine the position of the woman’s body when she was allegedly being raped by Alves.
The footballer’s lawyers have filed an appeal yesterday, requesting the player’s release from pre-trial detention while the case is still being investigated.
His legal team presented a document that refuses the court’s allegation of Alves’ potential flight risk, and they expect that the judge accepts the appeal and grants him the possibility to await freely as the investigation continues.
The Mexican football team Pumas, where the Brazilian right-back has been playing since July 2022, fired the athlete immediately after he was sent to jail.
Daniel Alves was arrested by the Barcelona police on 20 January 2023 for allegedly raping a woman at Sutton in December 2022.
The athlete who played for Brazil’s national team at the Qatar World Cup is being held in custody without bail at Brians 2 prison in Sant Esteve Sesrovires, Spain.
Anna Marin, the substitute judge of the preliminary court no.15 of Barcelona, identified contradictions in Alves’ statements, and, based on the images of the nightclub’s surveillance cameras and the victim’s biological results, decided for the pre-trial imprisonment of the footballer.
On 30 December 2022, the alleged victim was at Sutton with two friends.
According to her statement given to the Barcelona police last week, Daniel Alves invited them to go to his table inside the VIP area. After him insisting a couple of times, they accepted to join him, and that was when the abusive behavior started to appear.
The victim said that the former Barcelona player took her to the bathroom and then forced her to have sex with him.
As of now, there is no official statement regarding the duration of his arrest.
Apart from Brazilian footballer Daniel Alves, other male football players accused of sexual violence include Mason Greenwood and Robinho, among others.
In January 2022, Mason Greenwood, a Manchester United football player, was accused of assault against a woman.
On the same day, 30 January 2022, he was also suspended by Manchester United Football Club and arrested by Greater Manchester Police. Greenwood was arrested for the assault of a woman, suspicion of rape, suspicion of sexual assault, as well as threats to kill.
A few days later on 2 February 2022, Greenwood was released on bail pending further investigation.
Fast forward to 15 October 2022, apart from being arrested for allegedly breaching his bail conditions, the 21-year-old English professional footballer was also charged with multiple offenses: attempted rape; assault occasioning actual bodily harm; and engaging in controlling and coercive behavior.
Following the arrest, Greenwood was initially remanded into custody until 21 November 2022. However, a private hearing at Minshull Street Crown Court resulted in him being granted bail with two conditions: not to contact witnesses, including the complainant; and to reside in Bowdon, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom.
The court has set November 2023 as the trial date for Greenwood’s allegations, making this the latest development in his case.
Brazilian former professional footballer Robinho was sentenced to nine years in prison in November 2017. An Italian court sentenced him after he, along with five other men, was convicted of sexual assault, specifically the gang rape of a 23-year-old Albanian woman at a nightclub situated in Milan, Italy.
The gang rape occurred three years ago in January 2013. At the time of the assault, Robinho was playing for AC Milan.
At the time of the sentencing, the 39-year-old was in Brazil, a country that prohibits its citizens from being extradited to a foreign country.
In December 2020, the Italian courts upheld Robinho’s nine-year prison sentence following the appeal.
A year ago, the conviction was upheld for the second time by the Supreme Court of Cassation, Italy’s highest court.
A month later in February 2022, the Ministry of Justice of Italy issued an international arrest warrant against Robinho.
A football fan and a sports reporter
The Groningen Observer talked to a Brazilian football fan whose support for the Brazil national football team goes back decades, as well as a sports reporter who covers sports for Maraca TV, a Brazil-based media organisation.
“I’ve watched football and supported the Brazilian national team for as long as I can remember. What is happening with Dani Alves is tragic, but it isn’t going to stop me from continuing to show my love and support for the team,” says Guilherme Pacheco, a 36-year-old Brazilian football fan.
“Sexual assault occurs in pretty much all industries, not just sports,” he adds.
A female sports reporter who has been following the case since the beginning spotlights the predominance of male figures and the normalization of misogynistic behavior in the field of sports.
“Men in sports being sexist is nothing new. Dani Alves is a perfect example of how men believe that their acts will go unpunished and that women don’t deserve to be treated with respect,” says Deborah Cruz, a female sports reporter who advocates for women’s rights in the field.
“Men tend to have a pact between them to protect themselves and that’s why none of his Brazilian teammates spoke up, even in the face of such controversial matters,” she adds.