On Thursday, the highest court in Catalonia convicted former Brazilian football player Dani Alves of sexually assaulting a woman in a Barcelona nightclub in 2022, sentencing him to four and a half years in prison. Additionally, Alves has been ordered to pay the victim 150,000 euros.

The court’s ruling highlighted that the victim’s lack of consent was clearly established, supported by evidence that corroborated the plaintiff’s account, thus affirming the rape charge.

Alves had argued that the sexual encounter was consensual, countering the prosecution’s request for a nine-year sentence. Arrested in January of the previous year, the 40-year-old former Barcelona defender has been in custody awaiting trial.

The case has drawn considerable public interest, not just because of Alves’ fame, but also due to the increasing prominence of gender violence in Spain’s societal discussions. This trial is among Spain’s most high-profile cases following a 2022 law that prioritizes consent in sexual assault cases and extends the minimum sentences for assaults that involve violence.