Santi Mina: Spanish footballer: why has he been sentenced to four years in prison and latest transfer news
Celta de Vigo forward Santi Mina may well move to Greece if he avoids four year prison sentence
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The Spanish footballer Santiago Mina Lorenzo has been sentenced to four years in prison for sexual abuse, a verdict against which he will appeal.
If this appeal is successful, the Spaniard may sign with the Greek outfit Aris Salonika, according to Diario AS.
The 26-year-old was accused of raping a woman in a camper van in 2017. The woman had gone with David Goldar, another Spanish footballer who plays for the second-tier side Ibiza.
Goldar was found not guilty after he was accused of being an accomplice. The woman’s lawyer argued Goldar had done nothing to stop Mina from raping her.
Who is the Spanish footballer, Mina?
Mina has spent the majority of his career with his local side Celta. He joined their youth team in 2005 before making the jump to the senior team’s second squad in 2012.
After 13 league appearances and eight goals Mina then moved up to the first team. He made his first team debut in February 2013 and became the side’s youngest goalscorer in the first division when, at 17 years nine months and 10 years old, he scored in a 3-2 loss at Athletic Bilbao.
In 2015, Mina moved to Valencia after securing a six-year deal for €10 million.
His first goal for the La Liga side came in December of the same year, in the last four minutes to secure his side’s 1-1 draw against FC Barcelona.
Mina went on to make 117 league appearances in four years, scoring 29 goals in the process for Valencia.
After his four year stint with Valencia, Mina returned to his boyhood club on a five-year contract. He has made 101 league appearances in his second term at Celta while also scoring 25 goals.
Mina’s only real honour came in the 2018/19 season with Valencia when he was part of the team to win the Copa del Rey.
Why was Mina sentenced to prison?
In December 2019, Mina was charged with sexual assualt in connection to an incident which had taken place two years previously.
Three years on from the initial charge, Mina has now been found guilty of sexual abuse. The state prosecutor was asking for eight years in prison meanwhile the victim’s lawyers had hoped for nine-and-a-half years.
The ruling by the lower court can (and according to Mina will) be appealed against Spain’s Supreme Court. According to the Spanish news agency EFE, Mina’s defence team say it’s appeal would be based on the errors committed during the trial.
In addition to the four years, Mina was handed a restraining order which prohibited him from approaching the victim for the next 12 years.
The 26-year-old was also ordered to pay €50,000 in damages.
Celta removed Mina from the squad while the appeals process is ongoing and they have also opened disciplinary proceedings against him.
In a statement made by RC Celta, the club said: “RC respects the player’s right to a defence, but is forced to take measures against the events that notoriously undermine the image of the club and directly attack its values.”
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If Mina’s appeal through the High Court of Justice in Andalucia and then Supreme Court go through, the 26-year-old is on target to sign with the Greek side Aris Salonika.
The side finished thrd in the Greek Super League and have recently signed a whole host of players, including former Watford star Andre Gray and Olympique Lyon’s Pape Cheikh.