Rubiales to stand trial for Hermoso kiss, prosecutor wants 2.5 year jail term

May 9 – Former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales will stand trial on charges of sexual assault and coercion for kissing Spanish World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso without her consent after last year’s final, a Spanish judge has confirmed.

The 46-year-old kissed Hermoso on the lips following Spain’s 1-0 win over England last August in Sydney, prompting a global backlash, his resignation and a FIFA ban.

The offences carry prison terms of one year and 18 months, respectively.

Spain’s High Court said it would also try the former coach of the women’s team, Jorge Vilda, the team’s current sporting director, Albert Luque, and the Spanish FA’s head of marketing, Ruben Rivera. All three are accused of coercing Hermoso into saying the kiss was consensual.

Rubiales has consistently argued the kiss was consensual and has denied any wrongdoing. The court set a bail of €65,000 for his charge of sexual assault to be paid within 24 hours to cover “any civil liabilities he may be ordered to pay”.

FIFA banned Rubiales from all football-related activities for three years last October and the scandal overshadowed a historic moment for Spain’s women’s team, which at the time was celebrating its first ever World Cup title.

During the trophy presentation ceremony, Rubiales clasped Hermoso’s head between his hands and planted a kiss on her lips. It was broadcast to billions worldwide, prompting a national debate over sexism in Spain.

Rubiales claims he was the victim of a “social assassination” though Hermoso says the kiss was both “unexpected and at no time consensual”.

The trial will be held at the Audiencia Nacional in Madrid. The date has not yet been confirmed.

The public prosecution has requested a sentence of two-and-a-half years in prison for Luis Rubiales – one year for sexual assault and 18 months for coercion. The prosecution is also asking for two years’ probation once the sentence has been served and for him to pay €50,000 in compensation to the player.

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