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Spanish prosecutors accuse Rubiales of sexual assault over Hermoso kiss


LUIS Rubiales could be facing time in prison after Spanish public prosecutors filed a lawsuit against the Spanish football federation (RFEF) president for sexual assault and coercion.

The 46-year-old has been under heavy fire since August 20 after he kissed Spanish national team player Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the medal presentation at the FIFA Women’s World Cup final in Sydney, Australia.

The prosecutors office announced the lawsuit today Friday.

“The prosecutors request that Luis Rubiales be questioned as an accused (party) and Jenni Hermoso as a victim,” the prosecutors office said in a statement.

The move comes after Hermoso, 33, filed a complaint at the National Court on Tuesday, formally accusing Rubiales of sexual assault.

A judge at the court must now decide whether to accept or archive the request.

If the judge accepts the request, a magistrate will be assigned to head an investigation which will end either with a recommendation for the case to go to trial or be dismissed.

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.

Former Barcelona star Hermoso, who now plays for Mexican club Pachuca, has 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”.

She has also accused Rubiales of pressuring her to speak out in his defense immediately after the scandal over the kiss erupted, which prosecutors said could be considered a crime of coercion.

Rubiales insists the kiss was consensual even as world football governing body FIFA provisionally suspended him for 90 days after he refused to resign from his post.

In the midst of the controversy, the coach that led the Spanish women’s team to their first-ever World Cup title, Rubiales supporter Jorge Vilda, was sacked during the week.

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