Sunday 18 August 2019

Robinho protests his innocence despite sexual assault sentencing

Robinho #7 of Atletico MG reacts during a match between Atletico MG and Palmeiras as part of Brasileirao Series A 2016 at Independencia stadium on November 17, 2016 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)
Robinho #7 of Atletico MG reacts during a match between Atletico MG and Palmeiras as part of Brasileirao Series A 2016 at Independencia stadium on November 17, 2016 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)

Robinho has protested his innocence and announced he will appeal after reportedly being sentenced to nine years in prison for rape.

A Milan court ruled the 33-year-old former Manchester City forward took part in the gang rape of a 22-year-old Albanian woman with five other Brazilians in the city in 2013, according to reports in Italy.

Robinho, who currently plays for Atletico Mineiro in his homeland, played for AC Milan from 2010 to 2015.

The reports said Robinho was not in court and entered a not guilty plea via his lawyer. His sentence will reportedly be put on hold until the appeals process has run its course.

A statement on Robinho's Instagram page on Thursday night said that he had "already defended himself against the charges, maintaining that he played no part in the incident".

It added that "all legal steps" were "already being taken regarding this decision".

Robinho, who has 100 caps for Brazil, joined Manchester City from Real Madrid in 2008 as the first major signing of the Sheikh Mansour era.

However, he failed to live up to expectations at City and left the club after one and a half seasons, joining Santos on loan before making a permanent move to Milan.

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