Footballer Robinho sentenced to nine years for rape

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Former Manchester City and Brazil star striker, Robinho has been sentenced to 9 years in jail for sexual assault, according to a report by Sky News.

Robinho, whose full name is Robson de Souza, is now in his native Brazil, where he plays for Atletico Mineiro, which are based in Belo Horizonte.

Gazzetta dello Sport reveal the former Manchester City man is one of a group of five which were found guilty of sexually assaulting an Albanian girl in a Milan nightclub on January 22, 2013.

Under the Italian law, the forward will not be sent to prison until the appeals process is finalised, which could take years.

He had denied the charges, but was found guilty in absentia by an Italian court.

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'I clarify that my client has already defended himself against the charges and maintains he played no part in the incident.

"Every legal measure is being taken about this first ruling".

Robinho has protested his innocence and announced he will appeal after reportedly being sentenced to nine years in prison for rape.

As Robinho is a Brazilian national now residing in his home country, however, he is highly unlikely to face jail time for his offences. However, Brazil does not allow for the extradition of its own citizens, meaning he would only risk arrest and deportation if he was stopped in a third country. Robinho joined Atletico Mineiro from Guangzhou Evergrande past year.

Robinho moved to Europe amid much hype in 2005 when he joined Real Madrid from Santos - but he only showed his talent intermittently.