19th April 2024
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Spanish prosecutors seek 2.5 year sentence for Rubiales’ World Cup kiss and coercion

Spanish prosecutors are seeking a jail sentence of two-and-a-half years for the country’s 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 on Wednesday

Prosecutors also want Rubiales, who has been charged with sexual assault and coercion, to pay at least €50,000 in compensation to Hermoso, they wrote in a document sent to Spain’s Audiencia Nacional court.

During the incident, which took place on 20 August last year 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’, the prosecutors wrote.

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

That 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 for the kiss and have said that he and the three other defendants jointly pay her €50,000 for the coercion charge.

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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