A Spanish court on Friday ordered Brazil defender Dani Alves to be held in custody without bail after he was arrested in Barcelona on allegations he sexually assaulted a woman.
A Barcelona judge took the step after questioning the 39-year-old player regarding “events that allegedly took place at a nightclub,” the court said in a statement.
A source close to the dossier said the judge had taken the step — which was requested by public prosecutors — because the court considered there was a risk Alves would try to flee.
Alves, one of football’s most successful players, was taken into custody earlier on Friday after being summoned to a Barcelona police station and was then sent before the judge.
Catalan police said they received a complaint on January 2 from a woman who accused Alves of sexual assault.
The charge of sexual assault in Spain can mean anything from unsolicited and unwanted sexual groping to rape.
While police declined to give no details on the case, a source close to the investigation told AFP that Alves is accused of rape.
The woman reiterated her accusation before the judge on Friday, the source added.
The alleged sexual assault took place at a popular Barcelona nightclub overnight December 30-31, according to Spanish media reports.
Daily newspaper ABC said Alves allegedly put his hands inside the underwear of a woman without her consent while she was dancing with friends and then followed her into a toilet.
She is said to have informed security staff in the club, who activated Barcelona city council’s protocol against assaults and sexual harassment.
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