Robinho, Former Brazilian Striker Arrested Following Rape Conviction, To Serve 9 Years Prison Sentence

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    Brazil and Manchester City’s ex-striker, Robinho, was apprehended by federal police at his residence in Santos city. This follows a Brazilian court’s decision to enforce a nine-year prison term for a rape conviction in Italy.

    Soccer Football – Super Lig – Besiktas v Istanbul Basaksehir F.K. – Vodafone Arena, Istanbul, Turkey – April 13, 2019 Istanbul Basaksehir’s Robinho celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Murad Sezer/File Photo


    Robinho’s Downfall: From Football Stardom to Legal Battle and Arrest

    The 40-year-old footballer, known as Robson de Souza, was arrested on Thursday night following unsuccessful efforts by his legal team to postpone his apprehension for a 2013 offense. This incident occurred during his tenure as a player for AC Milan.

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    In 2017, a Milan court convicted Robinho and five other Brazilians of collectively sexually assaulting a woman after intoxicating her with alcohol at a nightclub.

    The verdict was upheld by an appeals court in 2020 and endorsed by Italy’s highest court in 2022.

    The Federal Court of Santos received the letter from the STJ (Superior Court of Justice) in the afternoon and subsequently issued the arrest warrant in the early evening.

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    Robinho was then transferred to the Federal Police headquarters hours later. Despite efforts by the defense, habeas corpus was denied in the STF (Supreme Federal Court).

    Robinho Image Credits Transfermarkt
    Robinho, Image Credits- Transfermarkt

    Robinho has consistently refuted the accusations.

    On Thursday, Robinho arrived at the federal police headquarters in Santos, his hometown where he began his career in the 1990s, shortly after 8 pm local time. As he arrived, journalists and camera crews surrounded the police vehicle that brought him to the building, its lights flashing.

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    According to Brazilian media, Robinho is scheduled to undergo a forensic medical examination before attending a custody hearing. Subsequently, the disgraced footballer is anticipated to be transferred to one of the nearly 100 prisons in São Paulo state, where Santos is situated.

    Reports suggest that he might be placed in a prison in the city of Tremembé, renowned for housing “celebrity” convicts, which have included individuals convicted of murder and serial rape.

    Robinho’s Legal Battle: Italy’s Pursuit and Brazil’s Response

    Since Brazil does not extradite its citizens, Italy has sought for Robinho to serve his sentence in his home country.

    Robinho Image Credits talkSPORT
    Robinho, Image Credits- talkSPORT

    There’s no obstacle to validate the execution of his sentence,” judge Francisco Falco said.

    “It was confirmed by a court in Milan, which is the competent authority in this case. The conviction is final. The defendant was not put on trial in absence in Italy, he had representation.

    Robinho has consistently denied any wrongdoing and reiterated his innocence in an interview aired by local television on Sunday.

    I was unfairly convicted in Italy for something that did not occur,” he said.

    Robinho commenced his professional journey at the Brazilian club Santos before transferring to the Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid in 2005, where he secured two La Liga titles.

    Earning recognition as one of the premier young talents globally, he made a significant move to Manchester City in 2008. However, despite his initial success, his performance declined, leading to subsequent spells at various clubs worldwide for the remainder of his career.

    Robinho Image Credits The Sun
    Robinho, Image Credits- The Sun

    Robinho, who retired in 2020, accumulated over 600 club appearances, representing esteemed clubs such as Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Milan.

    Additionally, he netted 28 goals in 100 appearances for the Brazil national team.

    Brazil’s Prison System: A Crisis of Human Rights and Decay

    Brazil’s prison system has been characterized as “hell on earth,” plagued by atrocities such as beheadings, sexual violence, and abysmal living conditions. Robinho is set to enter this overcrowded system, which the media has dubbed as such due to its dire state, including savage drug lords, unsanitary facilities with toilets lacking basic amenities, and rampant sexual violence.

    A report by Human Rights Watch on Brazil’s prisons has exposed the inadequate funding for maintenance, resulting in widespread decay.

    Overcrowding is a grave issue in Brazil’s prisons, particularly in Pernambuco… The state has confined tens of thousands of individuals in wards designed for a fraction of that number, relinquishing control to inmates who rule the prison grounds through violence and intimidation,” stated Maria Laura Canineu, director of Human Rights Watch.

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