Spanish state prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against Luis Rubiales for sexual assault and coercion for kissing a player on the lips without her consent after the Women’s World Cup final, the country’s prosecutors’ office said Friday.
Rubiales, the now-suspended president of the Spanish soccer federation, kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the awards ceremony after Spain beat England to win the title on Aug. 20 in Sydney, Australia.
Prosecutors presented the suit to Spain’s National Court in Madrid two days after Hermoso formally accused Rubiales of sexual assault.
According to a sexual consent law passed last year, Rubiales could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years if found guilty of sexual assault.
Prosecutors added Friday that Rubiales could have committed an act of coercion when, according to Hermoso, he pressured her to speak out in his defence immediately after the scandal erupted regarding his behaviour.
Rubiales has insisted the kiss was consensual. Hermoso has denied that in statements issued by her and her players’ union.
Prosecutors have asked the judge that Rubiales appear before a court to give preliminary testimony.
If the National Court judge agrees the hear the case, it would lead to a formal court investigation that will end with a recommendation for the case to either be dismissed or go to trial.