Sat, 13 April 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Robinho must serve Italian rape sentence in Brazil: court

Update : 21 Mar 2024, 10:41

Former Real Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan striker Robinho must serve a nine-year jail sentence for rape – handed down by an Italian court – in his native Brazil, judges in Brasilia ruled on Wednesday.

In 2017, a Milan court found Robinho and five other Brazilians guilty of gang raping an Albanian woman after plying her with alcohol in a night club in 2013.

The conviction was confirmed by an appeals court in 2020, validated by Italy's Supreme Court in 2022 and has now been upheld and declared valid in Brazil by the South American country's Superior Court of Justice (STJ).

Brazil does not usually extradite its citizens, so Italy requested last year that Robinho should serve his prison sentence in his home country.

Robinho still denies charges

Robinho, now 40, lives in Brazil and has always denied the charges. According to the victim, Robinho and his co-accused had made the young woman drink "to the point of rendering her unconscious and unable to resist" before having "sexual relations several times in a row" with her.

Robinho continued to protest his innocence and told Brazilian network TV Record in an interview this week that the sex had been "consensual."

Accusing the Italian justice system of "racism," he said: "I never denied [the encounter]. I could have denied it because my DNA was not there, but I'm not a liar."

In 2020, Brazilian TV channel Globo Sports released excerpts of a recording which Italian prosecutors had used to secure the conviction, in which Robinho purportedly said: "I'm laughing because I don't care. The woman was completely drunk. She doesn't even know what happened."

In March 2021, the Milan court published its reasoning for upholding the original conviction, saying Robinho had acted with "special contempt for the victim, who was brutally humiliated."

Spotlight on Brazil

The latest decision in the Robinho case came on the same day that his former Brazil teammate Dani Alves was released in a one-million-euo bail agreement while he appeals his own rape conviction.

The former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain defender was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for raping a woman in a nightclub in Barcelona.

The two cases have sparked criticism over the failure of football authorities in Brazil to condemn violence against women.

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