BARCELONA – Dani Alves testified in court on Monday and told the judge investigating a sexual assault accusation against him that he had consensual sex with the alleged victim.
Alves has been in jail since Jan. 20 after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a nightclub in Barcelona on Dec. 30. The Brazilian soccer player has denied wrongdoing.
Alves had initially said he hadn't had sex with the woman but eventually changed his version. He said he was trying to save his marriage by not admitting to the sexual encounter at first. The player reportedly told the judge that there was a mutual sexual attraction between him and the woman from the time they met at the nightclub.
The court had denied Alves’ request to be freed on bail while the investigation continues, saying he was a flight risk. A trial has not been set.
The victim's lawyer, Ester García, said Monday she expected Alves to remain jailed during the investigation. Alves' lawyer, Cristóbal Martell, told local media that he was satisfied with Alves' testimony. He was expected to ask again for the player's release on bail.
Alves was detained based on evidence gathered from the initial probe by authorities and testimony from the player, the alleged victim and witnesses.
Under Spain’s sexual consent law passed last year, sexual assault takes in a wide array of crimes, from online abuse and groping to rape, each with different possible punishments. A case of rape can receive a maximum sentence of 15 years.
The 39-year-old Alves won 42 soccer titles, including three Champions Leagues with Barcelona and two Copa Americas with Brazil. He played in his third World Cup last year in Qatar.