Spain prosecutors want Rubiales jailed for 2.5 years for World Cup kiss

By AFP   March 27, 2024 | 11:11 pm PT
Spanish prosecutors are seeking two-and-a-half years jail for disgraced ex-football chief Luis Rubiales who is facing trial for kissing Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso on the lips against her will, court documents showed Wednesday.

Prosecutors also want Rubiales, who has been charged with sexual assault and coercion, to pay at least 50,000 euros ($54,000) in compensation to Hermoso, they wrote in a document sent to Spain's Audiencia Nacional court, a copy of which was seen by AFP.

During the incident, which took place on August 20 after Spain beat England to win the Women's World Cup final in Australia, Rubiales held Hermoso's head in both hands and forcibly kissed her on the lips.

The kiss took place live in front of the world's cameras, provoking widespread outrage and prompting his suspension by world football governing body FIFA.

At the time, Rubiales brushed it off as "a consensual" peck on the lips, but Hermoso, 33, said it was not.

Under Spanish law, a non-consensual kiss can be classed as sexual assault -- a criminal category that groups all types of sexual violence.

Rubiales "grabbed the player's head with both hands, and surprisingly and without consent or the player's acceptance, he kissed her on the lips," they wrote.

After realising the kiss could have "personal and professional consequences" with his suspension by FIFA on August 26, Rubiales and his entourage began to exert "constant pressure" on Hermoso so that she "publicly justify" the kiss as consensual.

The pressure caused her "anxiety and intense stress" for several months, they wrote.

Prosecutors requested that the 46-year-old face a year behind bars for the kiss, and 18 months jail for the charge of coercion.

Three of his former associates are also being tried for putting pressure on Hermoso: former women's coach Jorge Vilda, men's team director Albert Luque and RFEF marketing boss Ruben Rivera.

In terms of compensation, prosecutors want Rubiales to pay Hermoso 50,000 euros for the kiss and have said that he and the three other defendants jointly pay her 50,000 euros for the coercion charge.

It was not immediately clear whether the amount would be evenly split.

Hermoso filed a lawsuit against Rubiales in September, telling the judge she had come under pressure to defend him both on the flight back from Australia and on a subsequent team holiday to Ibiza in the Balearic Islands.

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