Spanish football star, Santi Mina has been sentenced to four years in prison after being found guilty of sexual abuse.
The 26-year-old Celta Vigo forward, who has scored 84 goals in over 300 appearances in the LaLiga, will have to serve time if his appeal is unsuccessful.
During the verdict on Wednesday May 4, Mina was cleared of the sexual aggression charge he was also facing, which is associated with intimidation or violence against the victim.
Celta said they have removed the player from their squad until the appeal process is over.
They also opened disciplinary proceedings to determine the options the club can take.
Mina went on trial on March 28 at Almeria’s Provincial Court along with friend David Goldar, who plays for second division Spanish side Union Deportiva Ibiza.
The footballer was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a caravan outside a nightclub in the holiday resort of Mojacar near Almeria in June 2017.
The state prosecutor was asking for eight years of prison for Mina, while the victim’s lawyers were seeking nine and a half years.
Goldar was found not guilty after being accused of being an accomplice, with the woman’s lawyer asking for four and a half in years in prison for him.
Mina and Goldar said the woman consented to their sexual relations.
The woman accused Mina of raping her in a camper van in 2017, where she had gone with Goldar.
Her lawyer said Goldar did nothing to stop Mina from raping her.
At the time, Mina was playing for Valencia. He returned to his boyhood club in Vigo in 2019.
The ruling by the lower court can be appealed to Spain’s Supreme Court.
Celta have now issued a statement, saying: ‘As a result of the ruling of the Third Section of the Provincial Court of Almeria, issued today, RC Celta has decided to open a disciplinary file on the player Santiago Mina to elucidate his work responsibilities in view of this resolution.
‘For this reason and as a precaution, it has been decided to temporarily remove the player from first team training, without prejudice to his continuing to carry out the activities indicated by the club for this purpose.
‘RC Celta respects the player’s right to defence, but is obliged to take measures against those events that notoriously undermine the image of the club and directly attack its values, showing once again its absolute rejection of the offence defined in the judicial resolution.’