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Italy’s top court upholds Robinho’s 9-year rape conviction

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Robinho gestures during the seria A football match against Sampdoria on September 28, 2013. AFP

Italy’s top court upholds Robinho’s 9-year rape conviction

Italy’s highest court has upheld former Brazil forward Robinho’s nine-year sentence for the gang rape of a young woman, the victim’s lawyer said on Wednesday.

Judges at the Court of Cassation in Rome confirmed the sentence for the offence which dates back to January 2013, when the 37-year-old was playing for AC Milan.

Jacopo Gnocchi said that judges “deemed that the appeal filed by the player was inadmissible and that therefore the sentence is final”.

Robinho, who did not attend any of the hearings relating to the case, was among a group of six men accused of taking part in the rape of an Albanian woman celebrating her 23rd birthday in a Milan nightclub.

“A total of 15 Italian magistrates consider the accusations to have been widely proven. Our wish is that Brazil carries out the sentence,” Gnocchi added.

Robinho, capped 100 times for Brazil, had his 2017 conviction and sentence confirmed for a second time after also losing at the Milan Court of Appeal in December 2020.

According to the complaint Robinho, along with five others, made the young woman drink “to the point of rendering her unconscious and unable to resist” and then had “sexual relations several times in a row” with her.

In March 2021 the Milan court published its reasoning for upholding the original conviction, saying that Robinho acted with “special contempt for the victim, who was brutally humiliated”.

In October 2020 Robinho was forced to abandon a move back to his first club Santos amid pressure put on the Brazilian giants by sponsors.

Television channel Globo Sports had 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.”

Robinho started his career at Santos in 2002 and joined Real Madrid in 2005, then going on to play for Manchester City from 2008 to 2010, and Milan for four years until 2014.

He also played in China with Guangzhou Evergrande, Atletico Mineiro in Brazil and Turkish club İstanbul Basaksehir.

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