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Italian judge sentences Brazil striker Robinho to nine years for gang rape

Former AC Milan and Real Madrid striker Robinho has been sentenced to nine years in prison in Italy after he was convicted of gang rape, according to local media reports on Thursday.

Italian judge sentences Brazil striker Robinho to nine years for gang rape
Former AC Milan striker Robinho was convicted in absentia of raping a woman in Italy. Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP

The alleged incident occurred in January 2013, when the Brazilian was playing for Milan in Serie A.

He was found guilty in absentia by an Italian court for raping a 22-year-old Albanian woman.

Five of the player's friends were accused of the same crime. One of the accused was also given a nine-year prison sentence while the trial of the four others has been suspended because they are on the run.

According to Milan daily Corriere della Sera, Robinho and his acquaintances made the young woman drink “to the point of making her unconscious and unable to resist”.

They were then said to have engaged in “sexual intercourse multiple times in a row” with her.

The court in Milan also ordered those found guilty to pay the victim €60,000.

Robinho, who is currently playing for Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, posted messages on his Instagram and Facebook profiles protesting his innocence and his lawyer said an appeal against the verdict had been launched.

“We have already said that he has defended himself against these accusations and stated that he played no role in this incident,” the statement said.

“All legal measures have already been taken.”

The sentence is suspended while appeals take place.

It is not the first time the player has faced allegations of sexual misconduct.

He was questioned by British police in 2009 after a woman accused him of assault at a nightclub in Leeds, northern England, while he was playing for Manchester City. He was eventually released without charge.

The 33-year-old won 100 international caps for Brazil and played in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

ROME

‘Bank robber’ rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

Four people were arrested in Rome after a suspected would-be bank robber was rescued from a tunnel under a road, police said on Friday.

'Bank robber' rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

An Italian man had to be rescued after becoming trapped in a collapsed tunnel near the Vatican, suspected of being part of a gang burrowing its way to a nearby bank.

Firefighters spent eight hours digging him out from under a road in the west of Rome, before he was finally freed on Thursday evening and taken to hospital.

“Two people from Naples were arrested for resisting a public official and two, from Rome, for damage” to public property, a police spokesman told AFP.

The rescued man, one of the two Romans, remains in hospital, he said without giving an update on his condition.

“We are still investigating, we do not exclude that they are thieves, it is one of the theories,” he said.

For Italian newspapers, however, the motive was clear, with reports noting the tunnel was found near a bank ahead of the August 15th long weekend, when residents traditionally head out of town and much of Rome is left empty.

“The hole gang,” headlined newspapers Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, while La Stampa said: “They dig a tunnel to rob a bank, and one of them is buried underground.”

Other reports referred to the suspected burglar as l’uomo-talpa, or ‘mole man’.

An AFP reporter at the scene on Thursday saw the man brought out alive on a stretcher, after a day-long operation involving dozens of emergency service workers using mechanical diggers.

The tunnel began underneath an empty shop that had recently been rented.

“We all thought that the people there were renovating the place. So we had no suspicions and we did not hear noises either,” a resident, Michele, who lives in the same building told AFP.

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