SAO PAULO (AP) — Former soccer star Robinho turned himself in Thursday to start serving a nine-year prison sentence in his native Brazil more than 10 years after he was first accused of raping a woman in Italy.

The 40-year-old Robinho left his apartment building in the beachfront city of Santos, outside Sao Paulo, in a black police car.


As Brazilian law requires, he is expected to spend his first hours in custody at a hearing with a judge to discuss possible illegalities in the proceedings that led to his arrest.

Robinho will then be taken to a penitentiary, which authorities have yet to disclose.

Earlier on Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Luiz Fux denied Robinho a habeas corpus that would have allowed him to remain free until he has no longer pending appeals. His lawyers want a new trial for the former footballer in Brazil on the grounds of national sovereignty.

A Brazilian high court ruled Wednesday that Robinho must serve his sentence in his home nation as a result of his 2017 rape conviction in Italy.

Judges on Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice in the capital city of Brasilia voted 9-2 to validate the conviction of the former Real Madrid, Manchester City and AC Milan striker.

Robinho was sentenced in Italy to nine years in prison for his part in a group sexual assault in 2013 when he played for AC Milan.

Brazil doesn’t extradite nationals, which led Italy to seek his imprisonment in his home nation.