Hermoso accuses Rubiales of sexual assault over the WC kiss

Sam MarsdenBarcelona CorrespondentSept. 6, 2023 at 09:53 a.m. ET4 minutes to read

Hermoso Accuses Rubiales: What Happens Next?

After Jenny Hermoso accuses Luis Rubiales of sexual assault because he kissed her on the lips without her consent, Sam Marsden details what happens next for the now-suspended RFEF president.

Spain’s public prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday that Jenny Hermoso has accused Luis Rubiales of sexual assault after he kissed her on the lips without her consent after the Women’s World Cup final.

Sources close to the Spanish attacker, who plays club soccer for Mexico’s Pachuca, confirmed to ESPN that she has filed charges.

Rubiales, the now suspended president of the Spanish Football Federation, kissed Hermoso on the lips during the awards ceremony after Spain beat England to win the title on August 20 in Sydney.

– Graph of the controversial five years of the president of the Spanish Football Federation

In addition to facing criminal charges, Rubiales remains the subject of ongoing investigations by Spain’s Supreme Sports Court (TAD) and by FIFA.

On August 28, Spanish prosecutors announced that they had launched a preliminary investigation into Rubiales’ conduct and offered Hermoso the opportunity to file a complaint against him.

Sources confirmed to ESPN that Hermoso, 33, had 15 days to formalize the complaint and did so in person this week.

In a statement released in August, Hermoso said that “the kiss was not consensual” and that she “felt vulnerable and the victim of aggression, a reckless and sexist act.”

Rubiales had earlier claimed that the kiss – which he referred to as the “little peck” – was consensual.

“Rubiales’ behavior could be considered sexual harassment on the basis of current Spanish legislation,” attorney Ignacio Alvarez Serrano, an associate of Gomez-Acebo & Pombo, told ESPN last week.

“(The legislation) punishes such misconduct with imprisonment from one to two years and 18 to 24 months of professional disqualification.”

If the trial is successful, Rubiales is unlikely to serve a prison sentence: prison sentences of less than two years are usually suspended in Spain if the guilty party has no criminal record and does not reoffend.

Although the incident occurred in Australia, Spanish law allows acts committed abroad to be tried in Spanish courts if the parties involved are Spanish citizens and the conduct in question is also a crime in the country where it occurred.

TAD opened an investigation into Rubiales last week and, after classifying the offense as “serious”, could ban Rubiales from playing for a maximum of two years. Had the government classified the matter as “extremely serious”, the government could have intervened to suspend Rubiales while the investigation took place.

FIFA suspended Rubiales on August 27, a day after he refused to step down and delivered a defiant speech to the general assembly of his federation in which he claimed he was the victim of a “witch hunt” by “pseudo-feminists”.

And with the fallout from Rubiales’ post-World Cup behavior – when he hugged and kissed other players and inappropriately grabbed his genitals – Spain’s women’s coach Jorge Vilda lost his job on Tuesday.

Vilda – who was criticized for praising Rubiales’ not-to-quit speech two weeks ago – was backed by Rubiales last September when 15 players gave up their Spain squad until certain changes could be made to the setup.

Filda initially kept his silence about Rubiales’ behavior in the World Cup final. However, following the resignation of four assistant coaches for the Spanish senior national team, two coaches for the women’s youth teams, and five other staff for the women’s senior and youth teams last month, Vilda issued a statement criticizing Rubiales’ “inappropriate behaviour”.

And Pedro Rocha, the acting president of the Spanish Federation, took the decision to sack Filda this week and appoint his assistant, Tommy Montserrat, in his place.

“After all that has been achieved, after doing everything in my power, my conscience is clear: I have given 100% over the course of 17 years and I do not understand (the decision), I did not deserve to be dismissed,” Vilda told Radio Cadena SER on Tuesday.

“The success of this team will only become more valuable with time. I have doubts about football standards that mean I won’t continue as a coach. It’s a strange situation. What hurts me the most is the questioning of my honor and my behaviour.”

“I will never applaud anything sexist, nor will I ever applaud anything contrary to feminism, which is understood as the struggle for equality

“I didn’t know what was going to happen: we thought there would be a resignation. There are a lot of people, you’re in the front row and your boss is giving the speech, and a lot of the speech is directed at you.

He added, “At that moment, he said publicly that he was extending my contract and appreciated my work, and I applauded him.”

The Spanish government, players’ federations, players and many citizens have come out to support Hermoso. Meanwhile, Rubiales became a football pariah.

Prior to joining Pachuca, Hermoso enjoyed a long career with top Spanish and European clubs, including Barcelona, ​​Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid.

Information from the Associated Press is used in this report.

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