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Spanish prosecutor seeking jail time for Luis Rubiales and three others over his kiss on player Jenni Hermoso


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A prosecutor is seeking a prison sentence of two-and-a-half-years for former Spanish soccer federation chief Luis Rubiales over his unsolicited kiss on player Jenni Hermoso.

A court document seen by Reuters on Wednesday showed Prosecutor Marta Durantez charged Mr Rubiales with one count of sexual assault and one of coercion for his alleged actions in the aftermath of the kiss — offences carrying jail terms of one year and 18 months, respectively.

The 46-year-old grabbed Jenni Hermoso and kissed her on the lips on August 20 of last year during the awards ceremony after Spain’s victory in the women’s World Cup in Sydney, making global headlines and causing a national debate in Spain about sexism.

Ms Hermoso and her teammates said the kiss was unwanted and demeaning, but Mr Rubiales argued it was consensual and denied any wrongdoing.

‘Constant and repeated acts of pressure’

The prosecutor also accused the former coach of the women’s national team, Jorge Vilda, the current sporting director of the Spanish federation (RFEF), Albert Luque, and the RFEF’s marketing chief, Ruben Rivera, of coercing Ms Hermoso into saying the kiss was consensual.

The indictment said the three officials harassed the Spanish international by exerting “constant and repeated acts of pressure” directly on the player and through her friends and family. They each face 18 months behind bars as well.

All three denied wrongdoing when they appeared before the court.

Prosecutor Marta Durantez also said Luis Rubiales should pay 50,000 euros ($82,900) in damages to Jenni Hermoso, with the same amount to be jointly paid by Mr Rubiales, Mr Vilda, Mr Luque and Mr Rivera.

In addition, she requested a restraining order barring Luis Rubiales from coming within 200 metres of Ms Hermoso and from communicating with her for the next seven-and-a-half years.

If convicted and sentenced as requested by the prosecutor, he would not necessarily have to go to prison.

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