“He came home very drunk, smelling of alcohol. He hit the closet and fell on the bed.” This excerpt from the testimony of Joana Sanz, wife of Daniel Alves, accused of rape in Spain, set the tone for the second day of the player’s trial taking place in Barcelona.
Both Sanz and his friend Bruno Brasil, who accompanied Alves to the Sutton nightclub on the night of December 30, 2022, when he allegedly raped a young woman in the bathroom, made statements showing that the Brazilian had drunk a lot of alcohol at the time. Two other friends corroborated the information.
In Spain, the use of substances can constitute a mitigating factor and a sentence reduction by half. This was apparently the strategy adopted by the defense this Tuesday (6), when there were some testimonies that can be seen as positive for the player.
On Monday, the statements of the three young women, one of them the alleged victim, were essentially negative towards the Brazilian. Alves has been imprisoned in the capital of Catalonia since January 20 last year and this Wednesday faces the last day of his trial at the Audience of Barcelona, the Palace of Justice in the center of the city. The sentence will be given a few days later.
Spanish model Joana Sanz, married to Alves since 2017, after two years of dating, was the last to testify on Tuesday, around 6 pm (2 pm in Brasília). “On WhatsApp, I asked if he was coming to dinner and he said no.” She added that she was angry because she wanted to go out too and Alves said it was a “boys’ night out.” “That was a lie,” he said.
“He arrived home very drunk, smelling of alcohol. He hit the closet and fell on the bed. It wasn’t worth talking to him when he arrived, it was better to leave it until the next day”, he added, in a light statement.
Fourth to speak from a list of 22 witnesses, Bruno Brasil also spoke about alcohol. “We were with friends before, eating and drinking whiskey… We stayed until one in the morning. Then we went for a few drinks and then we decided to go to Sutton. We ordered a magnum bottle of sparkling wine. We were dancing and having fun,” he said. him, with the help of an interpreter.
Minutes later, questioned by the defense, he returned to the subject. He said that at the restaurant they ordered, in addition to whiskey, at least four bottles of wine. And that Alves must have drunk at least a bottle and a half.”
“Was it Alves who drank the most in the restaurant?” asked defense lawyer Inés Guardiola. “Yes,” he replied. By highlighting the fact that they were drinking so much, Bruno Brasil seems to be following the defense’s instructions.
According to an article of the Spanish Penal Code, “whoever, at the time of committing the crime, is in a state of complete intoxication due to the consumption of alcoholic beverages (…)” may be exempt from criminal liability. Another states that, “when there is only one mitigating circumstance, half the penalty provided for by law for the crime will apply.”
Thus, the lawyer seeks to reduce the sentence by half, if Alves is found guilty of rape. The maximum sentence for the crime in Spain, without aggravating factors, is 12 years, the time requested by the prosecution. The defense asks for acquittal.
Daniel Alves’ friend also explained that the alleged victim entered the bathroom after the player. “I was with the other girls making jokes,” he said. “From the VIP area, you could see that it was a bathroom. When he left there, Dani came next to me and continued dancing. There my cousin and I were, exchanging contacts on social media.” Then they would have said goodbye and left.
Alves did not take any type of exam on the day of the alleged crime. His wife is expected to declare that the player arrived at the couple’s house drunk that night.
This could be seen as the player’s fifth version of that night. In the first, the Brazilian had stated that he did not know the woman. Afterwards, he said he went into the bathroom with her, but nothing happened. In the third, he told the court that there was only oral sex. Afterwards, he declared that there was penetration, but with consent.
The other two friends who were at the restaurant on December 30, 2022 were also interviewed and mainly answered defense questions regarding the alcohol consumed.
“We had about five bottles of wine, one of whiskey, some draft beer. Then we ordered four glasses of gin and tonic”, said the first. “About four or five bottles of wine and we also ordered Japanese whiskey,” said the second. “From there, we went to a bar and ordered a gin and tonic each.”
Earlier, the first to speak were Sutton employees, following a line of witnesses that began on Monday, when three of them testified. The first one this Tuesday was the director of the nightclub. “Alves was a regular customer, I’ve been there for eight years and he’s been coming for much longer than me,” he said.
As for the complainant, she said that “she was quite upset and wanted to go home. We tried to convince her to go to the next room and she told us that she had been a victim of sexual assault. When Alves passed by, she said that it had been him He explained that he entered voluntarily, but then wanted to leave”, said the director.
Another nightclub employee, responsible for the support room for victims of sexual assault, said that “the girl was very bad, she was crying a lot. I asked if she was going to report it and she told me that no one would believe her.” Alves, on the other hand, “wasn’t like usual”. “I thought he had been drinking or had something else because he wasn’t acting like his usual self.”
A third employee said he had treated “her knee wound.” “It looked like a burn, it wasn’t deep.”
A series of police officers also presented their statements after Bruno Brasil, explaining how the victim was treated or even the arrest orders issued against the player. At that time, the speed of testimonies is great. Each person enters for three or five minutes, answers specific questions from the judges and leaves.
Wearing a light sweater over a dark shirt, the Brazilian follows the testimonies seriously, with his hands clasped, sitting in a common chair right behind the table where the testimonies sit to speak. Alves enters and leaves the place with handcuffs, placed with his hands in front. They are removed when he sits down to watch the trial.
The press has been following the sessions in three rooms at the Barcelona Courthouse, where the trial could be watched via closed circuit television. 270 journalists were accredited.