Rape convict Robinho appeals to avoid Brazil jail time

AFP , Thursday 21 Mar 2024

Lawyers for former Manchester City and Real Madrid footballer Robinho, who faces a nine-year prison sentence in Brazil for rape, said Thursday they filed an appeal with the Supreme Court.

Robinho
File Photo: Robinho of Brazil s Atletico Mineiro gestures during their 2017 Copa Libertadores match against Bolivia s Wilstermann held at Mineirao stadium, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on August 9, 2017. AFP

 

Robinho, 40, was ordered Wednesday to begin his jail time "immediately" in Brazil after he was sentenced in an Italian court for taking part in the 2013 gang rape of a woman at a Milan nightclub, when he played for AC Milan.

On Thursday, his legal team requested that the Supreme Court postpone the sentencing decision, made by Brazil's highest appeals court, to allow time to challenge the legality of Robinho's impending imprisonment.

Robinho was first convicted of rape by an Italian court in 2017 and later lost an appeal in 2020, before again having his nine-year jail sentence upheld by Italy's highest court in 2022.

Italian prosecutors issued an international arrest warrant for him but, as Brazil does not extradite its nationals, Italy instead requested he serve the sentence in his home country.

On Wednesday, judges in a Brasilia court ruled by nine votes to two in favor of Italy's request, ordering that Robinho must begin his nine-year jail sentence "immediately."

The case signifies a dramatic fall from grace for the footballer, who has 100 caps for Brazil, scoring 28 goals.

He played alongside stars including David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid before joining Manchester City.

In 2009, he was briefly detained in England for an alleged sexual assault of a young woman, but the charges were dropped after an investigation.

He sought to return to boyhood club Santos in 2020 but the club suspended the deal after pressure from fans and sponsors due to his rape conviction.

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