April 24th, 2024

Brazil court rules Robinho must serve 9-year prison term for rape. Soccer star convicted in Italy

By Mauricio Savarese, The Associated Press on March 20, 2024.

SAO PAULO (AP) – A Brazilian high court ruled Wednesday that former soccer star Robinho must serve his nine-year prison sentence in his home nation as a result of his 2017 rape conviction in Italy.

The 40-year-old Robinho can appeal to the Brazil’s Supreme Court.

Judges on Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice voted 9-2 to validate the conviction of the former Real Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan striker.

Robinho was sentenced in Italy to nine years in prison for his part in a group sexual assault in 2013 when he played for AC Milan.

Brazil doesn’t extradite nationals, which led Italy to seek his imprisonment in his home nation.

Robinho’s lawyer, José Eduardo Alckmin, told the court at the start of Wednesday’s hearing that his client wants a retrial in Brazil on the grounds of national sovereignty.

The first judge to vote, Francisco Falcão, said Robinho should serve his sentence in Brazil. He added that the former player cannot go unpunished and that diplomatic friction between Brazil and Italy could emerge if the sentence is not served.

“There’s no obstacle to validate the execution of his sentence. It was confirmed by a court in Milan, which is the competent authority in this case,” Falcão said. “The conviction is final. The defendant was not put on trial in absence in Italy, he had representation.”

Robinho lives in Santos, outside Sao Paulo. He relinquished his passport to Brazilian authorities in March 2023. He continues to deny any wrongdoing and insists his sexual relations with the woman at a Milan bar were consensual.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/Soccer

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