Brazil star Robinho sentenced to nine years in prison for sexual assault

Robinho in action at the 2010 FIFA World Cup            
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Robinho in action at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Show Grid

Robinho, 33, who now plays for Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, pleaded not guilty via his lawyer and never appeared at any of the court hearings in northern Italy.

BC-SOC-Brazil-Robinho Sentenced, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 229 Robinho denies sexual assault after 9-year jail sentenceAP Photo LON178Eds: Adds photo link.

"All legal steps are already being taken in response to this decision".

An Italian court sentenced former Manchester City and AC Milan forward Robinho in absentia to nine years in prison after convicting him of taking part in a gang rape of an Albanian woman in 2013.

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Robinho was found guilty of assaulting a 22-year-old woman at a nightclub in Milan in 2013, when he played for AC Milan.

It was reported that Robinho has the right to two appeals in Italy and the sentence will not be enforced until that process has been completed, which could mean extradition proceedings being activated. The married forward along with five other men have been charged.

Robinho at his wedding with Vivian Guglielmetti Junits in 2009.

He has been capped 100 times by Brazil, scoring 28 goals.

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The Brazilian player was one of the most sought-after in 2005 when he made his big-money move from Santos to Real Madrid.

Robinho was playing for the Rossoneri at the time.

After a bright start to life in England, he soon started to struggle and was eventually sent out on loan to former club Santos after just 16 months. He is now with Atletico Mineiro and made his last appearance for the national team against Colombia in January.

Robinho had previously been accused of sexual assault during his City days, but was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing.

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