Luis Rubiales faces 30 month jail sentence for Jenni Hermoso kiss

<span>Luis Rubiales has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one of coercion.</span><span>Photograph: Eidan Rubio/RFEF/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Luis Rubiales has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one of coercion.Photograph: Eidan Rubio/RFEF/AFP/Getty Images

Luis Rubiales could face a prison sentence of two and a half years if convicted of kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips against her will, court documents have shown. The former Spanish football federation chief has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one of coercion in the aftermath of the kiss, offences carrying jail terms of one year and 18 months respectively.

The 46-year-old grabbed ­Hermoso and kissed her on the lips on 20 August during the awards ceremony after Spain beat England in the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney, sparking global outrage and ­causing a national debate in Spain about ­sexism. ­Hermoso and her teammates said the kiss was unwanted and demeaning, but Rubiales argued it was consensual and denied any wrongdoing.

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The prosecutor, Marta Durántez, also has accused the former women’s national team coach Jorge Vilda; the sporting director of the Spanish fede­ration (RFEF), Albert Luque; and the RFEF’s marketing chief, Rubén Rivera, of coercing Hermoso into saying the kiss was consensual. The indictment said the three officials harassed Hermoso by exerting “constant and repeated acts of pressure” directly on the player and through her friends and family. They could each face 18 months in prison. All three denied wrongdoing when they appeared before the court.

Durántez also said Rubiales should pay €50,000 (£42,843) in damages to Hermoso, with another €50,000 to be jointly paid by Rubiales, Vilda, Luque and Rivera.

In addition, she requested a restraining order barring Rubiales from coming within 200 metres of Hermoso and from communicating with her for the next seven and a half years. If convicted and sentenced as requested by the prose­cutor, Rubiales may not necessarily have to serve time behind bars. Spain’s criminal code allows judges to “exceptionally” suspend jail terms if – as in this case – none of the sentences imposed individually exceeds two years.

The Spanish football federation has also promised to conduct a forensic audit of alleged “irregular conduct” by its former president ­Rubiales. The federation said last week that it was cooperating with the country’s criminal authorities after a raid on its headquarters in relation to a corruption and money‑laundering investigation.

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Police were also reported to have raided an apartment in Granada belonging to Rubiales, who was banned from all football activity for three years in October over his misconduct at the World Cup final.

The RFEF issued a statement on Wednesday confirming its management commission will now ­examine “any type of contract that may be under suspicion due to the actions of its former president, Luis Rubiales.

“The RFEF wants to show its total disassociation with the irregular conduct and actions of its former president and all those who may be involved, as well as emphasise that this institution is far above its ­leaders. Spanish football is much more than its former presidents or leaders.”

It has been reported in the Spanish media that the raids last week were linked to an investigation launched in 2022 into the RFEF’s decision to move the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi ­Arabia. Rubiales denied any wrongdoing at the time the Super Cup investigation was launched in 2022.