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Dani Alves has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman in a Barcelona nightclub by a Spanish court and given a jail sentence of four and a half years on Thursday.

Alves, 40, was detained until trial since January of 2023 as part of the investigation and was facing a nine-year prison term. He must now also pay the victim around $163,000 for moral and physical damages. 

The ex-Brazil and Barcelona soccer player was not present during the reading of the sentence by judge Isabel Delgado Pérez. His lawyer Inés Guardiola, as well as defense and prosecution lawyers were all present for the sentence. After leaving the court, the defense said it will appeal the decision.

The former player denied sexually assaulting the woman on December 31 of 2022. However, the 40-year-old Alves has been found guilty despite several requests from his lawyer for the ex-Brazil international to be acquitted.

He was accused and found guilty of sexually assaulting the woman in question in the restroom of a VIP section of the Barcelona nightclub in question and argued that she could have left if she chose to.

That after first denying knowing his accuser and then later claiming to have met her in the restroom where nothing happened before changing his version of events to having consensual sex.

The court has found that the act was non-consensual and added in a statement that evidence outside of the victim's testimony proved that she had been raped by Alves.

"The ruling considers that it has been proven that the victim did not consent and that there are elements of evidence, in addition to the testimony of the complainant, to understand rape occurred," the court said in a statement.

Alves' sentence was reduced due to former teammate Neymar funding the trial, according to UOL.

Alves, one of the most decorated soccer players in history, won 40 trophies for his country and clubs throughout his career, representing storied clubs Barcelona, JuventusParis Saint-Germain, Sevilla and São Paulo. Shortly after winning a gold medal in 2021 at the Tokyo Olympics, he joined Mexican club Pumas UNAM in 2022 where he eventually had his contract rescinded after his arrest.