In 2017, Robinho and another Brazilian were sentenced in the first instance, in Italy, for group sexual violence against a woman of Albanian origin.
On Friday morning, the ge published details of the sentence. Pressure from public opinion and sponsors made the attacker’s permanence at Santos unsustainable.
The case took place in a Milan nightclub in the early hours of January 22, 2013. At the time, Robinho was playing for Milan.
The conviction is not final. There are two other instances in Italy. The Milan Court of Appeal will review the player’s appeal, in a second instance, starting December 10.
The trial started in 2016 and ended in 2017. In the sentence, the Italian court informs that the prosecution requested ten years in prison for Robinho and his friend Ricardo Falco, and that the defense of the athlete requested the acquittal. Another four Brazilians involved in the case are being sued separately because they left Italy during the process. The trio of judges sentenced Robinho and Falco to nine years in prison.
According to the sentence, the conviction occurred because the accused knew that the victim was in a weakened mental condition when they practiced sexual acts in a group.
The defense’s claim is that the victim – who admitted to drinking – was not induced to do anything against his will. In the case of Robinho – he said he was alone with the victim.
The prosecution included a series of evidences: messages via SMS, Instagram, Facebook, DNA tests and recordings. Robinho and his friends were monitored after the court opened the case.
Italian police tapped the player and others involved – and even bugged the athlete’s car. It was these recordings that complicated the situation of Brazilians.
Robinho, do Santos – Photo: Ivan Storti / Santos FC
Below, you will see some unpublished excerpts from the sentence. It is necessary to register the content of sexual violence in the following transcripts.
In a dialogue, Robinho talks to his friend Ricardo Falco, condemned with him in the same process:
Falco: – If she were a smarter girl, two days later, she would have said: “Listen, I did some exams … Robinho, or you will give me some money or I will look for the newspapers …”. Then I would say it’s over. The girl did the exams, it’s over. Understood?
Robinho: – First, because we didn’t touch the girl. The boys touched it. Second, there is no evidence.
Falco: – Nothing.
Robinho: – She didn’t have a camera, she doesn’t have a photo.
The “boys” referred to by Robinho are the other four Brazilians involved in the case.
When giving testimony to the Italian Justice in 2014, Robinho said he was at the nightclub, that the girl approached him and he invited her to go to a discreet place – where they practiced oral sex for between five and ten minutes, without anyone else being present .
Italian judges did not believe this version. According to the ruling, “with respect to the conduct of today’s defendants and other members of the group there are unequivocal statements of self-indictment and direct indictment contained in telephone and environmental conversations intercepted since January 2014.”
According to the document, the group’s sexual violence occurred in the dressing room of the musician Jairo Chagas, who played at the nightclub that night. Some intercepted conversations between Robinho and Jairo are cited in the sentence.
The first is when Jairo warns Robinho about the process, on January 3, 2014. The Brazilian’s reaction is transcribed as follows:
Robinho: – I’m laughing because I don’t care. The woman was completely drunk, she doesn’t even know what happened … She can say what she wants, because I didn’t even touch her, it was the guys who caught her.
Robinho continues: – It was the girl who kidnapped me. If they call me, I will say that. Look, the guys are in the mood … I’m glad God exists because I didn’t even touch the girl. I saw (friend 1) and others who had sex with her … they will go wrong, not me. I remember that the guys who got it were (friend 2) and (friend 3), also because they made fun of (friend 4). There were five on top of her.
On January 24, 2014, the two talk again. Jairo says he saw Robinho in an oral sex situation with the victim. The sentence also brings two dialogues between Jairo and a friend. The first is from January 2014.
Amiga: – What a bad thing they did … This thing with Robinho. He shouldn’t have anything to do with it either … Being with these wretched friends.
Jairo: – The girl wanted to have sex. But six are too many.
Amiga: – That’s a coward thing, Jairo. People of m … that really sucks.
Jairo: – Six is really too much.
Amiga: – If the girl was conscious, they could get away with it. But she didn’t even consent.
In March 2014, Jairo talks again with the same friend about what happened.
Jairo: – This is not a thing, it’s called rape. What happened is called rape.
The sentence also reports a message sent by the victim to Ricardo Falco after the episode at the nightclub.
The victim says: – I think I’ll talk to a lawyer. They took advantage of me and you know it! I was definitely not conscious and I don’t even know how I got into that dressing room.
According to the ruling, the hearing also shows Falco citing with relief the fact that there are no cameras at the club.
Falco: – My only concern is that I had cameras, because if I had cameras, they would have recorded that I was fucking the girl. The fact of not having cameras was our salvation.
In the statement, the young woman stated that she was invited by one of Robinho’s friends to the party. He asked her to approach the table only after the attacker’s wife left. The woman said the group had offered her several alcoholic beverages – which turned out to be decisive for the conviction.
Falco: – That day she couldn’t do anything, not even stand, she was really out of her mind.
The victim never gave an interview about the case. When filing the complaint in court, her defense asked for compensation of at least 100 thousand euros – equivalent to 660 thousand reais. The lawyer is not aware of any request for money directly from Robinho.
– At least since she was assisted by me, that is, from the beginning, there was never a direct request for money from the victim – says Jacobo Gnocchi, the victim’s lawyer.
The sentence decreed that she would be entitled to receive 60 thousand euros – almost 400 thousand reais – as compensation for moral damages.
– There are certainly psychological marks in the relationship with people, in their personal choices, which are still visible today. There is psychological damage to someone who has suffered violence, recognizable to all women who experience sexual violence.
Robinho’s sentence cover – Photo: Reproduction
One of Robinho’s lawyers’ claims was that there was an error in the translation from Portuguese to Italian in the recorded phrases. The athlete did not want to give an interview to Globo.
The player’s lawyer in Brazil, Marisa Alija, said in a note: “The player reiterates that he did not commit the crime, that there was no sexual violence or admission of guilt in the telephone interceptions”. He says that other evidence will be presented to the Italian Justice, “which will certainly lead to the acquittal of the player”.
Robinho’s lawyer in Italy, Alexsandro Gutierres, said there is no evidence that Robinho would have induced the young woman to ingest drugs or alcoholic beverages, and that having sex with a drunk or drugged person does not break the law.
Ricardo Falco and Jairo Chagas were found in the report, but also declined to comment.
Since Santos announced on social media that Robinho was back, the repercussion was intense in many spheres. Fans from different clubs took a stand against the player’s return.
The club’s response came when this pressure affected the financial issue.
Throughout the week, a sponsor had already left Santos because of the hiring of Robinho. Other brands also took a stand against the business. Until the main sponsorship of the shirt demanded the immediate termination of the contract.
– I did not think that the sponsors acted in a hasty manner. They acted in protecting the brand. If there is a suspicion, or in the case a conviction already, I think they have a responsibility. Again, not only for the public that consumes its brands, but also for society as a whole. Nowadays, everything is connected. The responsibility is not only due to the fact that you are hired to work at the club, you have other responsibilities – says Izael Sinem Junior, a specialist in sports marketing, who has worked at large multinational companies and as marketing director for Corinthians.
Commitment also to those who see themselves represented by the colors of the club.
– I am part of the Bancada das Sereias movement, which is a women’s movement. We made a disapproving note and released it on our Instagram. From then on, it had a very big repercussion. It is very sad to think that in the middle of 2020, we fans have to go through this. Several times, during this week, I had to say: you are putting the woman, who is the victim, as an interest, as crazy – says Mariana Paquier, lawyer and one of the administrators of the Santos fan movement.
In an attempt to repatriate an idol on the pitch, a debate outside of it. It is a process that is not over yet.
– When someone occupies an idol place, in a social space such as sport, it is the promotion of values, encounter, playfulness, they are important values for another way of experiencing democracy and society. How to have an idol that is not under the values of society? – says Debora Diniz, an anthropologist, professor of law at UnB and researcher at Brown University.