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Former Manchester City star Robinho vows to fight nine-year gang rape sentence

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 disco.

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.

In an Instagram post the footballer vowed to fight to clear his name, saying all legal steps were being taken.

He said he had "clarified" he had already defended himself and had "no participation in the episode".

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.

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