Former Barcelona Star Dani Alves Could Return To The Streets Despite Facing Four-and-a-half Jail Sentence

Ex-Barcelona star Dani Alves could be back on the streets in a matter of weeks - despite being handed a four-and-a-half year jail sentence for rape.

The Brazilian defender, 40, was found guilty today for raping a woman in the bathroom of a Barcelona nightclub in December 2022.

Alves was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison and ordered to pay £130,000 (150,000 euros) to the victim for the assault.

But it can now be revealed that Alves could be released from prison as soon as July 20 when he will have served a third of his sentence, reported Spanish media.

Alves would be allowed to leave jail to work or "participate in activities" for the day before returning at night as per Spanish law. It is not clear what these activities will be.

Such a move would have to be approved by the prison surveillance court and be dependent on the footballer's good behaviour.

Alves has been held in pre-trial detention since his arrest in January 2023 and those 13 months count towards his sentence.

This means that by April 2025, Alves could be allowed to leave prison overnight and spend weekends at home as by this stage he will have served more than half of his sentence.

But Alves may not have to serve his prison sentence if he wins his appeal against the conviction.

The footballer's lawyer Inés Guardiola confirmed today that she will appeal the sentence because she "still believes in Alves' innocence".

State prosecutors were seeking nine years while the lawyers representing Alves' accuser wanted 12 years. But the Spanish judge sentenced him to four-and-a-half years.

He was also ordered to pay £130,000 to the victim and to stay away from her for nine-and-a-half years.

The court said as cited by Sports Central: "The sentence considers that it has been proven that the victim did not consent and that there is evidence, in addition to the testimony of the plaintiff, to consider the rape proven.

Speaking outside the court, Guardiola said her team will appeal the sentence.

She told reporters: "Four-and-a-half years is much better than nine and 12 that the accusation requested, but we are going to appeal because I still believe in Mr Alves' innocence. 'We are going to review the sentence, but I can tell you that we are going to appeal. "We continue to believe in the innocence of Mr Alves. He already knows the sentence. We will defence his innocence to the end."

Alves was sent back to Brians 2 prison near the Catalan capital following his sentencing. He will remain at the prison, pending his appeal.

During a trial held in Barcelona earlier this month, the footballer was accused of raping a woman in a bathroom at a nightclub in the city on December 30, 2022.

Alves had previously confirmed he had sex with the woman but insisted that it was consensual.

The trial, held at Barcelona's Audiencia Provincial Court lasted three days with the alleged victim, witnesses, and experts testifying.

Alves has been held in pre-trial detention since his arrest in January 2023.

In a brief statement, the Barcelona court said Wednesday it had "summoned all parties in the Alves case, including the defendant, to appear in court for a so-called "notification procedure".

His accuser told the prosecution that she had willingly entered the bathroom with him, but that he forced her to stay after she wanted to leave.

She claims that he was aggressive with her, slapping her and insulting her, and then forced her to have sex with him.

During the first day of the footballer's trial a friend and cousin of his accuser claimed he also groped them in the VIP area.

The two women claim he then invited their friend, the alleged rape victim, to follow him through a separate door after flirting with her.

His ex-wife Joana Sanz told the court Alves "smelled of alcohol" and "he bumped into several pieces of furniture and collapsed on the bed" after arriving home the night of the assault.

But she said she didn't want to talk to him because of "the state he was in".

Alves has made repeated bail requests but they have all been turned down, with judges saying his alleged victim’s version of events was coherent and pointing out Alves had changed his story several times as the evidence authorities have against him has emerged.

In an exclusive interview from his cell in Brians 2 Prison near Barcelona last June with Spanish TV he claimed: “The only person I have to ask for forgiveness is my wife, Joana Sanz."

As well as two spells at Barcelona, Alves has played for Seville, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Sao Paulo.

He is widely considered one of the greatest full-backs of all time and became the oldest player to represent Brazil at the World Cup in December 2022 in Qatar.