Public prosecution requests bail refusal for Dani Alves over sexual assault

Prosecutors maintain footballer presents flight risk despite defense's arguments

Façade of Brians 2 prison in June 2020
Façade of Brians 2 prison in June 2020 / Pol Solà

ACN | @agenciaacn | Barcelona

February 7, 2023 11:31 AM

February 7, 2023 11:33 AM

The public prosecution has presented a letter to court opposing Dani Alves' request for bail. 

The former FC Barcelona player has been in pre-trial detention since January 20 over an alleged sexual assault on December 30 at the Sutton nightclub in Barcelona

Alves' defense submitted a request for conditional bail for their client on January 30; in response public prosecutors have now laid out their opposition to his provisional release. 

The public prosecution argues that the reasons for imprisonment still apply: rational indications of criminality and a flight risk. Their letter says that the precautionary measures proposed by the defense fail to mitigate these reasons. 

Request for bail 

The request for bail argued that the footballer does not present a flight risk and put forward several alternative proposals. Alves' lawyers say their client could provide a bail bond, submit his passport, report to the court regularly, or wear an electronic tracking wristband – although GPS tags are not normally used for people on pre-trial release. 

As the Brazil international owns a house in Esplugues de Llobregat, just outside Barcelona, and has been sacked by his former club UNAM in Mexico, the risk of Alves fleeing the country has decreased, the defense argues. 

Alleged sexual assault 

Despite initially saying he didn't know the alleged victim, Alves now maintains he did have consensual sex with the woman in a private bathroom at the Sutton Barcelona club. He claims that he initially lied in order to avoid admitting marital infidelity. 

The woman's version of events is corroborated by several pieces of evidence, such as her fingerprints present at a certain place in the bathroom, the presence of semen on her clothes, a consistent account of what happened, statements from several witnesses, images from video cameras, and the medical report given to her at Hospital Clínic shortly after the alleged assault. 


Several witnesses confirmed the alleged victim's version in court last Friday and endorsed her police statement, including five members of staff at the venue, a friend of the woman, and her cousin.  

The woman's friend and cousin also claimed that Alves approached them and tried to 'hook up' with them, talking and dancing, and even touching them intimately. 

According to legal sources, staff at the club explained that the former FC Barcelona player invited the three women to the VIP area, where they spent around 20 minutes speaking and dancing. At one point, the footballer went to the bathroom, followed by the woman.  

They spent around 15 minutes in the bathroom, during which time the woman claims non-consensual sexual relations took place. Alves claims there was consent. 

The woman then wanted to leave the club but told her friend and cousin, as well as staff members, that Alves had raped her. The club then activated their protocol for sexual assaults, informing the Catalan police, the Mossos d'Esquadra. 

The alleged victim's defense team has until Thursday to submit its written opposition to Alves' provisional release. 

Industry bodies

The public prosecution has objected to the industry bodies Fecasarm and Spain Nightlife joining the case as private prosecutors, claiming there is lack of legitimate interest. 

Fecasarm hopes that the judge will ignore the public prosecution and allow them to exercise their "constitutional right." 

They say that between 2007 and 2022 they acted as public prosecutor in 25 judicial proceedings, the last one a case of sexual assault in Igualada where the judge agreed to the association acting as a private prosecutor, despite the prosecutor's office objections.