Spanish prosecutor brings charges of sexual assault and coercion against Luis Rubiales after kiss scandal

Suspended President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) Luis Rubiales is looking at charges of sexual assault and coercion, following his non-consensual kiss of Spain forward Jenni Hermoso during World Cup celebrations.

Rubiales has disputed that it was non-consensual, claiming that the pair had a conversation during the incident, where he asked ‘a peck?’ and she supposedly responded ‘Ok’.

This has been vehemently denied by Hermoso, who released a statement claiming that she had been the victim of a sexist act, and that she had felt vulnerable at the time. Other elements of Rubiales’ story, such as the idea that Hermoso lifted him up, have been debunked by video footage.

On Tuesday Hermoso gave a statement to the police and thus allowing the public prosecutor to bring charges against Rubiales, after numerous complaints led to an investigation.

As per Marca, the prosecutor has now done so, presenting allegations of assault and coercion. The former can bring a prison sentence of 1-5 years, while coercion can bring a sentence of 6 months to 3 years in prison, or a fine of 1 rising to 2 years of income.

The coercion charge comes as a result of consistent pressure from Rubiales to get Hermoso to appear publicly and downplay the incident.

A judge will now receive the case from the prosecutor, and decide whether there is sufficient evidence in order to bring a case against Rubiales. The Spanish prosecutor had been in contact with Australian authorities over the matter too, but charges will not be brought in Australia.

Rubiales is currently suspended from his position by FIFA for a period of 90 days. The Ministry for Sport are also pursuing a suspension for Rubiales from football for up to two years for a ‘serious infraction’, as it was judged by the Tribunal for Sport.

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