Manolo Portanova being hit with a six-year prison sentence after allegations of gang rape were made against him and a group of his friends has not been enough for Genoa to suspend the footballer.
In their fast-tracked trial, Portanova and his uncle, Alessio Langella, were sentenced to six yeas in prison by a Siena court. The 22-year-old footballer was one of four men accused, alongside Langella and two friends – 25-year-old Alessandro Cappiello and an unnamed 17-year-old. The victim was a 21-year-old female student.
On top of the prison sentence, Portanova and Langella have been ordered to pay €120,000 to the victim’s family.
Leaving the courtroom after the sentencing, Portanova claimed: “I am innocent.”
Portanova’s defence, led by lawyer Gabriele Bordoni, had offered €25,000 to the student as a ‘compensatory gesture’, though stated that this was in no way an admission of guilt. The player claims that the sex was consented to, although the victim insists that she did not consent to having sex and had made her position clear on a number of occasions to Portanova and the other men involved.
The incident dates back to the night of May 30 and into the early hours of May 31, 2021, in Siena. It was then and there that Portanova and the woman had been alone in a city-centre home before the other three men arrived and the events unfolded.
The woman’s lawyer, Jacopo Meini, is not ruling out that crimes committed go beyond what happened in the house that night.
“We are not ruling out the possibility that photos or videos may have been spread in private chats,” Meini said.
Those claims have not been proven by the subsequent investigation.
Genoa won’t suspend Portanova
This sentencing is still just the first stage of the judgment and, as a result of nothing yet being final, Genoa have opted against suspending the player in a move that has attracted a lot of criticism.
Although the Grifone have not yet made any public statements on the matter, La Repubblica have reported their position.
“The conviction of Manolo Portanova is an unprecedented case in Italian football,” La Repubblica report as Genoa’s stance.
“We are studying how to best act, from a position of assuming innocence until the final sentence.”
Portanova joined Genoa in 2021 from Juventus.