MILAN, Nov 23 (Reuters) - An Italian court sentenced former Brazil and AC Milan forward Robinho in absentia to nine years in prison on Thursday after convicting him of taking part in a gang rape of an Albanian woman in 2013.
A Milan court ruled that Robinho and five other Brazilians assaulted the woman, who was 22 at the time, after plying her with alcohol in a discotheque. The whereabouts of Robinho’s five companions is not known, so their trial has been put on hold.
Robinho, who also played for Real Madrid and Manchester City, is currently with Atletico Mineiro in Brazil and has not appeared at any of the court sessions involving his case.
The Brazilian soccer star has a right to two appeals and Italy would only launch extradition proceedings if and when he receives a definitive verdict, a legal source said. (Reporting by Manuela D‘Alessandro; writing by Crispian Balmer; editing by Mark Heinrich/Richard Balmforth)