HomeWorldSpanish Prosecutors Seeking 2.5-Year Jail Term for World Cup Kisser

Spanish Prosecutors Seeking 2.5-Year Jail Term for World Cup Kisser


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Prosecutors are gunning for a former Spanish Football Federation chief,  seeking a two-and-a-half year prison sentence after he grabbed a female footballer and kissed her on the lips. With Spanish laws allowing terrorists to avoid prosecution and rapists to walk free before serving their sentences, a conversation on proportionality might not go amiss.

Last year, football captain Jenni Hermoso led the Spanish team to an August World Cup victory, culminating in an unwelcome kiss from Luis Rubiales, The event led to an outraged discussion on sexism across the West. Hermoso said the kiss was both unwanted and demeaning. Rubiales has denied any wrongdoing.

If he is convicted of kissing Hermoso against her will, he could spend 30 months in jail.

Some might wonder why, if this is deemed fair, Spanish lawmakers have been so keen to let certain violent offenders off the hook; in particular, Catalan separatists who have carried out terrorist acts. Provided these have not caused “a serious violation of human rights”—which leaves a fair amount of scope for interpretation—they can live without the fear of prosecution.

Separately, the Socialist coalition government recently enacted a law, supposedly designed to better protect women against sexual violence, which saw hundreds of rapists, sex offenders, and paedophiles released from Spanish prisons before the completion of their full sentences.

Feminist writer Jean Hatchet argued that some time behind bars was justified in Rubiales’ case, not least because it will send a “clear message”; that “if you’re a man in a position of power over a woman and you are sexually aggressive,” you will “get in jail.”

While it is hard to find a public figure who has queried 30 months’ imprisonment as potentially a step too far, the lenient treatment of predators and terrorists suggests a loss of all sense of proportion.

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