8 Sep, 2023 @ 13:51
1 min read

Prosecutors at Spain’s national High Court formalise criminal case against Luis Rubiales over unsolicited kiss

Embattled 'kisser' Luis Rubiales could face sex assault charges as top prosecutors in Spain open probe
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SPAIN’S public prosecutor has formalised the case against Football Federation chief Luis Rubiales in the High Court, over his unsolicited kiss of player Jenni Hermoso after Spain won the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney on August 20. 

The prosecutor had already begun an investigation into the events of that day at the end of last month, but after collecting the testimony of Hermoso this week it has now begun criminal proceedings against Rubiales for a possible sexual assault offence and another of coercion. 

The High Court lawsuit calls for Rubiales to appear before the tribunal as an official suspect, and also states how the kiss was planted on Hermoso’s lips without her consent. 

It goes on to detail how ‘both she and her closest contacts suffered constant and repeated pressure from Luis Rubiales and his professional team to justify and approve the facts’. 

Jenni Hermoso files official complaint with the courts against Luis Rubiales over 'non-consensual' kiss
Cordon Press image

The prosecutor is also calling on information from the Australian authorities as to the specifics of sexual assault offences within the country’s criminal code. 

Spain’s laws, meanwhile, include jail sentences of one to four years in jail for anyone who carries out an act that compromises another person’s sexual freedom without their consent. 

Rubiales has been under huge pressure to quit from his role as Federation chairman, as well as Uefa vice-president, after his behaviour at the Women’s World Cup Final in Sydney on August 20. 

After Spain beat England 1-0 at the game, he was caught on camera grabbing his crotch in an obscene gesture, despite standing just metres from Spain’s Queen Letizia and her teenage daughter Sofia, as well as planting the unsolicited kiss on the lips of player Jenni Hermoso during the medal ceremony. 

Despite having been suspended from his roles by Fifa, Rubiales is still refusing to go. 

Also earlier this week, the men’s national team issued its own statement condemning the actions of Rubiales. 

On Tuesday, women’s team coach Jorge Vilda was sacked from his role despite having taken Spain to victory at the World Cup for the first time. He was widely criticised for applauding Rubiales as he made a rambling and defiant speech to regional football chiefs during which he refused to stand down. 

Most of Vilda’s coaching staff had already resigned while 81 players were refusing to play for the team until he was gone. 

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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