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Former Barcelona Star Dani Alves to Stand Trial for Sexual Assault in Spain

BARCELONA, Spain — Brazilian football player Dani Alves will face trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in a night club last year, a Spanish court said Tuesday.

The Barcelona-based court said “there was enough evidence to open the trial” considering the statements given to court and the evidence presented in the investigation phase. A date for the hearings was yet to be set.

The 40-year-old Alves has been in pre-trial jail since January when he was arrested for allegedly assaulting the woman at a nightclub in Barcelona on Dec. 30. He was indicted by an investigative judge in August.

The former Barcelona defender has denied any wrongdoing, claiming he had consensual sex with the accuser.

Under Spain’s sexual consent law passed last year, the charge of 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 carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Alves won 42 football titles, including three Champions Leagues with Barcelona and two Copa Americas with Brazil. He played at his third World Cup last year in Qatar.

A judge ordered him to be jailed in January after analyzing the initial investigation by authorities and hearing testimony from the alleged victim, witnesses and the player himself.

All of Alves’ bail requests were denied because the court considered him a flight risk. The player had offered to turn in his passports and wear a tracking device while awaiting the court’s decision.

Alves’ lawyers did not immediately respond a request for comment on Tuesday.