|Then-AC Milan forward Robinho is seen during the Italian Seria A football match against Sampdoria, on September 28, 2013. Robinho ’sentenced to nine years in prison’ for sexual assault in Milan nightclub four years ago. -- AFP Photo |Viet Nam News
ROME — Former AC Milan and Real Madrid striker Robinho was sentenced to nine years in prison in Italy on Thursday after he was convicted of gang rape, according to local media reports.
The alleged incident occurred in January 2013, when Robinho was playing for Milan in Serie A. He was found guilty in absentia by an Italian court for sexually assaulting a 22-year-old Albanian woman.
Five other people were also accused of the same crime, but their sentences are not yet known.
According to Milan daily Corriere della Sera, Robinho and five friends 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.
Robinho has denied the charges and can appeal the decision.
After hearing the news, he posted brief messages on his official Instagram and Facebook profiles protesting his innocence.
It is not the first time the player has faced allegations of sexual misconduct. He was briefly detained in 2009 after a young woman accused him of assault at a nightclub in Leeds, northern England.
He was eventually let go without charge.
The 33-year-old is currently playing for Atletico Mineiro in Brazil. He has 100 international caps for his country. — AFP