Alves denied bail again in Spain amid assault investigation

Former Barcelona player Dani Alves will remain in jail after a Spanish court on Tuesday denied his request to be freed on bail while a sexual assault accusation against him is investigated.

The court had already denied a similar request by Alves’ defense team in February, saying he was a flight risk. Alves’ defence have five days to appeal the latest decision.

Alves was provisionally detained in January after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a nightclub on Dec. 30. He has denied wrongdoing and said sex with the woman was consensual.

A judge ordered him to be jailed without bail after analyzing the initial probe by authorities and hearing testimony from Alves, the alleged victim and witnesses. The Brazilian is currently in pre-trial detention until a a date is set for a hearing.

Alves’ lawyers had filed a 200-page report and videos from security cameras that they said discredited testimony by the woman and other witnesses. The lawyers also reiterated that Alves would accept any court-imposed measures, such as turning in his passports and wearing a tracking device, if freed on bail.

While Alves has changed his version of events four times, the victim’s statement has remained the same and biological test results found traces of Alves’ semen in the victim’s body.

Under Spain’s sexual consent law passed last year, sexual assault takes in a wide array of crimes from online abuse and groping to rape, each with different possible punishments. A case of rape can receive a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Alves turned 40 on Saturday. He won 42 soccer titles, including three Champions Leagues with Barcelona and two Copa Americas with Brazil. He played in his third World Cup last year in Qatar.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.