justice sentenced Brazilian footballer Robinho to nine years in prison for rape.
The 36-year-old had appealed a 2017 conviction for assaulting a 23-year-old Albanian at a nightclub in Milan four years earlier.
The judges ruled that the sentence against Robinho, whose real name is Robson De Souza, and his friend Ricardo Falco, 35, should stand.
A move that comes after a Brazilian newspaper revealed the contents of wiretap phone conversations the footballer had with friends after the charges were first brought, including one in which he tries to laugh at 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, ” he added.
The accusations date back to 2013 when Robinho was 28 and played 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, drank in the city’s Sio Café nightclub.
It was there that they met the Albanian woman, who was celebrating her birthday with some of her friends. In the evening, Robinho walked his wife home before joining her friends at the club, where they started drinking with the woman.
The woman says Robinho, who was due to celebrate her birthday three days later, and her friends forced her to drink until she was almost unconscious.
They then took her to a private lodge where Robinho and Falco sexually assaulted her while the other four men watched.
Robinho and Falco then ‘shared’ the woman with the other four men, Italian media reported at the time. The athlete was arrested and questioned about the allegations in 2014. He admitted to having oral sex with the woman but claimed it was consensual.
After questioning, police tapped Robinho’s phones and recorded conversations where he bragged about his friends’ attack.