Veteran Brazil international striker Robinho on Thursday had a nine-year sentence for the rape of a young woman upheld by a court in Italy.
The 36-year-old Brazilian’s appeal was thrown out by a Milan court. Along with five other people Robinho was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 22-year-old Albanian woman in 2013.
Judges of the Milan Court of Appeal confirmed the sentence for both Robinho and one of his friends for group sexual violence dating back to January 2013.
Robinho was playing for AC Milan at the time of the attack and was tried in absentia in November 2017.
The Brazilian still has the possibility of a further appeal to a higher court in Italy. In Italy until all avenues of appeal are exhausted the presumption of innocence applies.
Even if any further appeal were to be unsuccessful it is not clear whether Robinho would serve his sentence. The player is currently in Brazil and the country’s constitution does not allow the extradition of any natural born citizen of citizen. Brazilian law does however permit the possibility of an offender being forced to face punishment in Brazil if the crime committed in Italy is also a crime there, which it is.
Robinho was forced to pull out of a move back to his first club Santos last October amid pressure brought to bear on the Brazilian club by sponsors.
Television channel Globo Sports released excerpts of a recording Italian prosecutors used to secure their conviction, in which the player purportedly says, “I’m laughing because I don’t care. The woman was completely drunk. She doesn’t even know what happened.”