Brazil international Dani Alves is being held on charges of sexual abuse after giving a statement to police on Friday, a police source confirmed to ESPN.
Alves, 39, has been transferred to a court in Barcelona where he will be questioned by a judge, who will decide the next steps to take in the case. A police source could not confirm at this stage whether that would take place on Friday or over the weekend.
State prosecutors have asked for him to be jailed without bail, the prosecutors’ office said. It was unclear whether Alves would remain in police custody after the hearing.
An investigation was launched earlier this month over an allegation that Alves sexually assaulted a woman in a nightclub in Barcelona in December. Alves denies any wrongdoing.
A charge of sexual assault in Spain can mean anything from unsolicited and unwanted sexual groping to rape. Police said they could not give any details on the case.
The Pumas UNAM player returned to Spain from Mexico this week to face the charges. He presented himself at a local police station in Barcelona on Friday and was then taken to the Ciutat de la Justicia by officers pending examination by the judge.
A woman first filed a police report against Alves on Jan. 2, alleging that he touched her inappropriately under her clothes without consent at Sutton, a nightclub in Barcelona, during a night out on Dec. 30.
After the incident, the woman said she told security what had happened and local police were informed and took witness statements. The former Barca, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain defender denied any wrongdoing in an interview with the Spanish television channel Antena 3 this month.
“I would like to deny everything, first,” he said. “I was there, in that location, with more people, having a good time. Everybody knows that I love to dance. Having a good time, but without invading the space of others
“I’m very sorry, but I don’t know who that young lady is, I don’t know who she is, I’ve never seen her in my life.”
The defender was a key part of Barcelona’s golden years playing between 2008-16 on the team’s right flank with Lionel Messi. He won the Champions League three times with the Catalan club, which he briefly rejoined last season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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