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 March 23, 2024

Brazilian soccer legend Robinho to serve nine years in prison for participating in a nightclub gang rape

Soccer legend Robinho was taken into custody Thursday to serve time in prison for participating in a 2013 gang rape. Police removed the 40-year-old Brazilian man from his home in Santos, Brazil, the day after a failed appeal attempt. 

Born Robson de Souza, Robinho began his successful career playing for his native Brazil, CNN reported. He later moved to the Spanish Real Madrid soccer club in 2005, where he won the La Liga title twice.

As a rising young player, Robinho landed on the Manchester City team in 2008. His career fizzled out not long after the move, but it was his conduct off the pitch that has kept him in the headlines.

In 2013, Robinho and five other men were accused of a heinous gang rape of a young woman in an Italian nightclub. After appealing to Brazil's Supreme Court, his request to stay out of prison was denied, and he was sent to jail to serve nine years.

The Criminal Charges

Robinho and the five other men involved gave alcohol to the victim, a 22-year-old Albanian woman, Reuters reported. The rape occurred at a nightclub in Milan, Italy, and was therefore prosecuted there.

In 2017, the court in Milan found Robinho and the five other Brazilian men guilty of the crime. An attempt to appeal the verdict in Italy's Supreme Court failed in 2020.

The former soccer player was convicted and sentenced to jail in Italy. However, the Italian authorities allowed Robinho to remain in Brazil to serve his jail sentence there because the country seldom expedites criminals.

During a TV interview, Robinho claimed that he had been "unfairly convicted in Italy for something that did not occur." However, Judge Luiz Fux, who rejected his appeal, determined that there was nothing problematic about the verdict.

According to a report in Time, Robinho was forced to relinquish his passport in 2023 to the Brazilian authorities. He still maintains that the encounter between the woman and five other men was consensual.

Robinho Blames Racism

Rather than take responsibility, the former soccer great has claimed he was prosecuted in Italy because of racism. "I played only four years in Italy, and I got tired of seeing stories of racism," Robinho claimed.

"Unfortunately, that exists to this day," he claimed. "(The rape case) was in 2013, now we are in 2024. The same people who don’t do anything against it (racism) are the ones who sentenced me," Robinho charged.

Notably, this conviction was not the first time Robinho was accused of sex crimes. In 2009, he was accused of raping a first-year college student at a UK nightclub, The Guardian reported.

The woman came forward the next afternoon, but Robinho was questioned by police and released. He was never charged for that attack.

The courts have spoken and Robinho is guilty of raping the woman in Milan. Whatever his excuse may be, several judges have upheld that fact and will make him answer for it.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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