Robinho given prison sentence in Italy for 2013 sexual assault

Striker Robinho handed nine years prison sentence for rape Report

"We would like to clarify that he has already defended himself against the accusations, affirming that he did not participate in the episode", said a statement posted on Robinho's Instagram feed.

Robinho, 33, who now plays with Atl├ętico Mineiro in Brazil, pleaded not guilty via his lawyer and did not appear at any of the court hearings in northern Italy.

Former Manchester City striker Robinho has been sentenced to nine years in prison for the sexual assault of a woman in 2013.

He is said to have attacked a 22-year-old Albanian woman along with five other men.

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The Brazilian forward was playing for Italian giants AC Milan at that time.

The sentence will be put on hold until the appeals process is completed.

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

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

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According to local legislation no Brazilian citizen can be extradited to another country under request to face criminal charges, although that will not apply should he leave his home nation and is detained elsewhere.

Robinho, who has 100 caps for Brazil, joined Manchester City from Real Madrid in 2008 as the first major signing of the Sheikh Mansour era.

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 now plies his trade back in his homeland with Atletico Mineiro.

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