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Italy asks Brazil to extradite footballer Robinho to serve sentence over gang-rape in Milan

Italy has asked Brazil to extradite soccer star Robinho (pictured) to serve a nine-year prison sentence for the gang rape of an Albanian woman at a Milan nightclub

Italy has asked Brazil to extradite soccer star Robinho to serve a nine-year prison sentence for the gang rape of an Albanian woman in a Milan nightclub.

The 38-year-old former Manchester City star was convicted in 2019 for the 2013 attack on the 23-year-old while playing for AC Milan.

Brazil international, real name Robson De Souza, appealed against the conviction, but it was upheld by several Italian courts, including the Supreme Court of Cassation in January this year.

Now Italy’s Justice Ministry has written a request to Brazil to extradite Robinho along with his friend Ricardo Falco who was also convicted in the case.

The Brazilian Constitution does not allow the extradition of their citizens from their homeland.

Italy has asked Brazil to extradite soccer star Robinho (pictured) to serve a nine-year prison sentence for the gang rape of an Albanian woman at a Milan nightclub

Italy has asked Brazil to extradite soccer star Robinho (pictured) to serve a nine-year prison sentence for the gang rape of an Albanian woman at a Milan nightclub

The former Manchester City star, 38, was convicted in 2019 of attacking a 213-year-old in January 2013 while playing for AC Milan (pictured in March 2013)

The former Manchester City star, 38, was convicted in 2019 of attacking a 213-year-old in January 2013 while playing for AC Milan (pictured in March 2013)

After the initial accusations, a Brazilian newspaper revealed the content of bugged phone conversations the footballer had with friends, including one in which he tried to mock the accusations.

“I laugh because I don’t care,” Robinho could be heard saying. “The woman was completely drunk. She doesn’t even know what happened.

The charges date back to 2013, when Robinho was 28 and playing in Serie A for AC Milan.

On the night of January 22, the footballer and a group of at least six people, including his wife, had been drinking at the Sio Café nightclub in the city.

It was there that they met the Albanian woman, who was celebrating her birthday with some of her friends.

At some point in the evening, Robinho walked his wife home before joining his friends at the club, where they began drinking with the woman.

The woman says Robinho, who was due to celebrate her own birthday three days later, and her friends forced her to drink until she was almost unconscious.

That’s when they took her to a private box where Robinho and Falco sexually assaulted her in front of the four other men.

Robinho has repeatedly denied the accusations, saying the sex was consensual and his only regret is being unfaithful to his wife Vivian (pictured together)

Robinho has repeatedly denied the accusations, saying the sex was consensual and his only regret is being unfaithful to his wife Vivian (pictured together)

Robinho and Falco then ‘shared’ the woman with the other four men, Italian media reported at the time.

The sportsman was arrested and questioned over the allegations in 2014. He admitted to having oral sex with the woman, but claimed it was consensual.

After being questioned, police tapped Robinho’s phones and recorded conversations where he boasted about the attack with his friends.

During the investigation, four of Robinho’s friends who were allegedly involved in the attack but were never identified left the country for Brazil.

In the same year, Robinho left Italy to return to play for his boyhood club, Santos, and Falco also left the country.

The pair were tried in absentia in November 2017 and found guilty of rape, with judges handing down nine-year sentences.

Speaking at the sentencing hearing, the judges made it clear that the ‘contempt’ for the victim shown in the tapped phone calls was an aggravating factor.

“Particularly negative significance must be given to the tone and expressions used to comment on events, describing the girl with demeaning epithets and often in crude and contemptuous terms,” ​​they said.

At the time of the attack Robinho, 28, was playing in Serie A for AC Milan (pictured) but returned to Brazil before the charges went to court

At the time of the attack Robinho, 28, was playing in Serie A for AC Milan (pictured) but returned to Brazil before the charges went to court

“The defendants even laughed several times during the event, thus underlining an absolute disregard for the condition of the victim, who was exposed to repeated humiliations, as well as acts of sexual violence through abuse particularly invasive.”

The couple were also ordered to jointly pay the woman $73,000 in damages.

The footballer came through the academy of Brazilian club Santos where he was often compared to Pelé as one of the best prospects they had produced.

He played at Real Madrid and Manchester City before a loan spell at Milan between 2013 and 2014, and was also capped for his country.

After the allegations against him emerged in Italy, he returned to Brazil and also spent time playing in Turkey.

In 2020, he returned to Santos where he was to see his career playing minimum wage.

But Santos was forced to terminate the contract amid outcry over the rape case, with a major sponsor dropping its support for the club.

In an interview shortly after the club breached his contract, Robinho continued to deny the rape charge – saying his only regret about the night is being unfaithful to his wife, Vivian.

Asked about the pressure that made Santos tear up his contract, he replied: “Unfortunately there is this feminist movement.”

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