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Prosecutors seek 2.5-year jail term for Spanish soccer boss Rubiales over unwanted World Cup kiss – Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News


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(CNN) — Spanish prosecutors are seeking a prison term of two years and six months for former soccer chief Luis Rubiales for giving an unwanted kiss to star forward Jennifer Hermoso after Spain’s World Cup victory.

The Public Ministry has formally accused Rubiales, the disgraced former president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), of sexual assault for kissing Hermoso “without consent or acceptance,” according to an indictment seen by CNN.

The kiss was televised globally and the scandal overshadowed a historic moment for Spain’s women’s team which was celebrating its first-ever World Cup win.

Rubiales, then president of the RFEF, was seen kissing Hermoso on the lips before slapping her twice on the back – sparking an immediate global outcry over consent.

He was initially suspended by world football’s governing body, FIFA, before he resigned after weeks of refusing to step down.

Rubiales described the kiss as “mutual” – a claim Hermoso has strongly denied – and said he faces “excessive persecution” from authorities.

In addition to the prison sentence, prosecutors have also asked for a supervised release for two years, a ban on communicating with Hermoso or coming within 200 meters of her for four years – as well as $54,100 in compensation.

Prosecutors have also accused Spain’s former women’s soccer coach Jorge Vilda, Spanish national team director Albert Luque, and the RFEF marketing director Rubén Rivera, of allegedly pressuring Hermoso to justify the kiss.

All four men are requested to compensate Hermoso with another $54,100.

CNN is trying to reach the defense of the accused and Hermoso’s lawyer for comment.

Rubiales and the other three accused have each denied the charges against them in prior testimony, the court’s prosecution service said in earlier statements following their respective hearings.

Public outcry to the unwanted kiss, and Rubiales’ staunch defense of it, has come from every sphere of Spanish society, including from politicians and sports stars.

The incident also sparked a conversation about the prevalence of “macho culture” in Spain, a county that has witnessed massive protests against sexual violence and sexism in the past years.

Rubiales’ initial refusal to step down also sparked huge solidarity among Spain’s female players.

The coaches of Spain’s women’s team resigned en masse and more than 80 Spanish soccer players put their name on a statement supporting Hermoso, saying they would not return to the national team “if the current leaders continue” in their posts.

As the row dragged on, several soccer teams, both male and female, displayed their support for Hermoso at their matches – some held shirts, some wore wristbands, and some unfurled banners.

Last September World Cup-winning manager Vilda was also removed from his role.

Vilda had been filmed seeming to inappropriately touch a female staff member during the Women’s World Cup Final. He was replaced by Montse Tomé, the first woman in Spanish national team history to hold the position.

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