Unwanted kiss: Spanish prosecutors accuse football chief Luis Rubiales of sexual assault

Spanish Football Federation president Rubiales, 46, sparked a worldwide backlash after forcibly kissing a female player during the medal ceremony following Spain's triumph in Sydney on August 20.

Published: 08th September 2023 06:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2023 06:24 PM   |  A+A-

Rubiales, 45, kissed Hermoso as he handed the Spanish team gold medals after they beat England 1-0 in the final in Sydney, provoking outrage in Spain. (Photo | AFP)


MADRID: Spanish public prosecutors demanded Friday that suspended football chief Luis Rubiales be indicted for sexual assault over his unsolicited kiss on the lips of player Jenni Hermoso at the Women's World Cup final.

"The prosecutors request that Luis Rubiales be questioned as an accused and Jenni Hermoso as a victim," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

A judge at Spain's top criminal court must now decide whether to accept or archive the request.

If the judge accepts the request, an investigating magistrate will be assigned to head the investigation.

Under Spanish law, sexual assault includes a wide array of crimes from online abuse and groping to rape, each with different penalties.

The punishment for a non-consensual kiss can range from a fine to four years in prison.

Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Rubiales, 46, sparked a worldwide backlash after forcibly kissing Hermoso during the medal ceremony following Spain's triumph in Sydney on August 20.

Hermoso, 33, later said the unwanted kiss had left her feeling "vulnerable and like the victim of an assault", with a statement on social media describing it as "an impulsive, macho act, out of place and with no type of consent on my part". Rubiales insists the kiss was consensual.

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