Categories: International

Spanish Prosecutors File Lawsuit Against Luis Rubiales for Alleged Sexual Assault and Coercion

Spanish state prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against Luis Rubiales, the suspended president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF), alleging sexual assault and coercion. The lawsuit stems from an incident where Rubiales kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent during the awards ceremony after the Women’s World Cup final on August 20 in Sydney. Rubiales is accused of committing sexual assault under a new law that eliminates the distinction between “sexual harassment” and “sexual assault.”

Prosecutors presented the case against Rubiales to Spain’s National Court in Madrid, two days after Hermoso formally accused him of sexual assault. If found guilty, Rubiales could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years. Prosecutors also added that Rubiales may have committed an act of coercion by pressuring Hermoso to speak out in his defense after facing criticism for his behavior.

Rubiales has maintained that the kiss was consensual, while Hermoso and her players’ union have denied this. Prosecutors have requested that Rubiales appear before a court to provide preliminary testimony. If the National Court judge agrees to hear the case, it will lead to a formal court investigation, which will conclude with a recommendation for dismissal or trial.

In addition to the potential criminal trial, Rubiales faces consequences from FIFA, which suspended him from his post for 90 days. The Spanish government has also initiated a probe to determine if Rubiales abused his authority or tainted Spain’s image with his conduct. If found unfit, Rubiales could be barred from holding his post for up to two years.

Rubiales’ behavior at the Women’s World Cup final, including a lewd crotch grab, and his controversial speech have caused significant damage to the Women’s World Cup title and the Spanish football federation. The women’s players of Spain have stated that they will not play for the national team until significant changes are made within the federation.

The accusation against Rubiales by prosecutors coincided with the start of a strike by players in Spain’s women’s league after failed salary negotiations. The league, known as Liga F, was one of the first to criticize Rubiales’ conduct.

Luis Rubiales, 46, has been the president of the RFEF since 2018. He has made efforts to boost revenue and funding for lower-level football and the women’s game, but his tenure has been marked by controversy. Rubiales also faces scrutiny for taking the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia, a move criticized by women’s and human rights groups.

 

Author: CrimeDoor

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