Former Spain soccer chief faces 2.5-year prison sentence for kiss incident, say prosecutors

Prosecutors from the Madrid prosecutor’s office have confirmed that they are seeking a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for Luis Rubiales, former soccer chief of Spain. Rubiales may stand trial over a nonconsensual kiss incident that took place at the Women’s World Cup last year.

Rubiales planted an unwanted kiss on Spanish soccer player Jennifer Hermoso’s lips during the team’s trophy ceremony after Spain’s 1-0 victory against England on August 20, 2023. The incident was documented through both video footage and photographs.

In October 2023, the former president of the Spanish soccer federation received a three-year ban from national and international soccer activities. This decision was made after the organization determined that he had violated an article of FIFA’s disciplinary code due to the kiss incident.

In a recent development, a judge has determined that there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a trial against Rubiales and three other former executives of the Royal Spanish Football Federation. This decision marks a significant step in the legal proceedings against them.

Prosecutors have requested a two-and-a-half-year sentence for Rubiales, according to ABC News. They argue that he held the head of Hermoso without her consent and that the nonconsensual kiss had personal and professional repercussions for the soccer player. Additionally, Rubiales could be fined a minimum of 50,000 euros ($54,000).

The prosecutors have also asked for a restraining order against Rubiales, which would prohibit him from coming within a 200-meter radius of Hermoso and from having any form of communication with her.

Rubiales, who faces charges of sexual assault and coercion, maintains that the kiss was consensual and firmly denies any wrongdoing.

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The prosecutor’s office has also requested a prison sentence of one-and-a-half years for the three former executives. It is believed that they may have exerted pressure on Hermoso to claim that the kiss was consensual.

The trial has not yet commenced in the case.

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