Alves Pays Bail, Can Leave Spanish Jail – Court

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Former Brazil international footballer Dani Alves, convicted of rape in Spain, has paid his bail of one million euros and can leave jail pending his appeal, a court said Monday.

One of the world’s most decorated footballers, Alves, 40, was last month sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail for raping a young woman in the VIP bathroom of a Barcelona nightclub in the early hours of December 31, 2022.

But in a surprise move, a Barcelona court agreed last Wednesday to his request for provisional release while his appeal is heard on condition that he posted bail of a million euros ($1.08 million), hand over his Spanish and Brazilian passports, remain in the country and present himself to court “on a weekly basis”.

It took him until Monday to present the funds, meaning he remained in jail while his entourage tried to raise the money.

“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,” the court said in a statement.

TV crews gathered outside the Brians 2 prison, northwest of Barcelona, where Alves is being held, to capture the moment of his release which is expected in the coming hours.

Alves had been in jail since he was arrested in January 2023. He made several attempts before his conviction to get bail, but they were turned down partly on the basis he was a flight risk since Brazil does not extradite citizens sentenced in other countries.

The appeal process could take months to complete.

Public prosecutors and the victim’s lawyer, Ester Garcia, have appealed 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 told reporters last week.

“This is a very dangerous message for society,” she added, saying her client was “very outraged, very despondent and very frustrated”.

– ‘Anguish and terror’ –

The court’s decision to grant bail also drew criticism from Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who said money “cannot buy the offense 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. This, in fact, is a crime,” he added.

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

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

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

Spain’s leftist government in 2022 passed new legislation — dubbed the “only yes means yes” law — that strengthens the country’s penal code against rape by requiring explicit consent for sex acts, a move long demanded by assault survivors and women’s rights groups.

Alves is widely considered one of the greatest defenders of all time, having won 42 trophies.

The peak of his career was with Barcelona between 2008 and 2016 when he won 23 trophies. At the time of his arrest, he was contracted to Mexican club Pumas UNAM. He was sacked soon after being detained

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