Brazilian former professional footballer Robson de Souza, also known as Robinho, has been sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in the gang rape of a young woman in Italy in 2013.
An Italian court ruled that the 33-year-old former Manchester City ace, along with five other Brazilians, assaulted the 22-year-old Albanian woman after giving her copious amounts of alcohol in a nightclub.
The former AC Milan forward, who now plays for Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, was not present in court. A statement posted on his Instagram from his legal team said: "Regarding the news involving the striker Robinho, in an incident that occurred several years ago, we wish to clarify that he already declared his innocence and maintained he had no involvement whatsoever."
In an Instagram post, Robinho followed in the steps of a litany of defensive male celebrities and politicians by rejecting the accusations and insisting he "did not participate in the episode" and that "all legal measures are being taken.”
According to Milan daily Corriere della Sera, Robinho and his five friends made the young woman drink "to the point of making her unconscious and unable to resist." They then engaged in "sexual intercourse multiple times in a row."
In 2009, the high-profile footballer was arrested in connection with the sexual assault of an 18-year-old woman in the United Kingdom, but no charges were ever brought.