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Dani Alves pays €1m bail, set to leave Spanish jail

"The 40-year-old father-of-two is now expected to be freed for the first time in 14 months, around 5 p.m. local time"

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Former Brazil and Barcelona star 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 on Monday.

Alves, one of the world’s most decorated footballers, 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.

Persecondnews recalls that a Barcelona court agreed last Wednesday to his request for provisional release while his appeal is heard on condition that he post 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.”.

The 40-year-old father-of-two is now expected to be freed for the first time in 14 months, around 5 p.m. local time.

The Court announced: “We hereby inform you that the 21st section of the Barcelona Court has registered the deposit of Daniel Alves’ bail.”

Since his arrest in January 2023, Alves has been in jail.

He made several attempts before his conviction to get bail, but they were turned down partly on the basis that 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.”

The court’s decision to grant bail also drew criticism from Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who said money “cannot buy the offence 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.

According to Alves’ lawyers, there was “sexual tension” between the victim and the player while they were dancing at the nightclub.

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 passed new legislation in 2022, 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.

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