Former AC Milan and Brazil forward Robinho received a nine year prison sentence for his role in the gang rape of an Albanian woman in 2013 AFP

SEATTLE -- After years in the making, a Brazilian high court finally ruled on March 20th that former Brazilian superstar Robinho must serve a nine-year prison sentence as a result of a rape conviction that occurred in Italy back in 2017. The former Real Madrid and AC Milan forward was sentenced in Italy to nine years in prison for his involvement in a group sexual assault case that took place in 2013, when the Brazilian was playing for Milan.

Judges from Brazil's Superior Court of Justice voted 9-2 to validate the conviction. As Brazil does not extradite nationals, Italy tried for years to seek his imprisonment in his home nation.

In 2017, a Milan court found Robinho and five other Brazilians guilty of sexually assaulting an Albanian woman after plying her with alcohol at a local night club. The conviction was confirmed by an appeals court four years ago but it wasn't until now that justice will finally be served. According to Robinho's lawyer, José Eduardo Alckmin, his client is looking for a retrial in Brazil "on the grounds of national sovereignty."

Robinho's team will file a request so he can remain free while he appeals, but Alckmin admitted that, without a habeas corpus, the former soccer star could be jailed "in a matter of days, could even be hours." He also added that his client is willing to comply and will not oppose.

Robinho's case is just one of the many similar cases becoming public in recent months. The same day as the Brazilian high court ruled that Robinho must serve his nine-year sentence, a Spanish court decided that former teammate Dani Alves could leave prison if he pays a $1.1 million bail as he awaits the appeal of his conviction for raping a woman at a nightclub in Barcelona.

Although most legal experts expected the court's decision to take several days and even weeks, the judges involved in the voting process took less than a day to come to a decision. "Brazil cannot be a shelter for criminals," judge Mauro Campbell Marques said during his vote.

The former winger played 100 times for the Brazilian national team, scoring 28 goals. His most successful stint was with Real Madrid, winning two league titles and becoming one of the most popular soccer players in the world. He started and finished his professional career at local club Santos, retiring from soccer in 2020. As the Brazilian high court ruled, it will now be up to authorities in the city of Santos to decide when and how to jail Robinho.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.