FILE PHOTO: Brazil defender Dani Alves in action during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match against South Korea at 974 Stadium, Doha, Qatar. December 5, 2022. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes/File

BARCELONA, Spain, April 17 (Reuters) – Brazilian footballer Dani Alves testified on Monday that he had consensual sex with a woman who accused him of sexual assault, a change from his version of what is went to a nightclub in Barcelona at the end of December. .

The 39-year-old footballer, imprisoned without bond since January 20, appeared before the judge in charge of the investigation on Monday, his lawyers said in a press release.

“He claimed he initially did not disclose what happened and denied any sexual contact because his only priority was to save his marriage,” the statement read.

Alves told the judge there was immediate interest and sexual tension between him and his accuser. “Everything that happened in the bathroom was a free and voluntary act, they made love and never said to stop,” the statement added.

Alves previously denied any sexual encounter with the woman who filed a complaint in January for an alleged sexual assault in the toilets of an exclusive Barcelona nightclub.

Two weeks before her arrest in January, Alves said in a video sent to local television station Antena 3 that she did not know who the woman was.

In February, the court denied Alves’ request for release.

A spokesman for the Barcelona court where Alves testified on Monday declined to comment. The lawyer representing the alleged victim and a spokesperson for the prosecution also did not respond.

The case has drawn widespread attention in Spain, partly because of Alves’ popularity, but mostly because sexual assault has remained a dominant political issue since the 2016 gang rape of a teenage girl during the presidential race. San Fermin bulls.

(Reporting by Joan Faus and Sun Landauro, editing by William Maclean)

Categorized in: