Spanish prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against Luis Rubiales for alleged sexual assault and coercion after his kiss on Jenni Hermoso after the Women’s World Cup final.
Hermoso spoke to prosecutors on Tuesday after they indicated that they required her, as the injured party, to provide them with testimony if they were to proceed further.
The complaint was officially filed with the Audiencia Nacional (the Spanish national court) on Friday, a development that means Rubiales, the president of the Spanish football federation (RFEF), could now face criminal charges.
In Spain, a sexual assault charge can be punishable with a prison term of between one and four years.
The lawsuit indicates that testimony from both Rubiales and Hermoso will be sought as well as information from Australian authorities in relation to the country’s own laws considering where the incident took place.
Rubiales also faces action from the Spanish government with the Administrative Sports Court (TAD) having opened its own case.
The 46-year-old kissed Hermoso on the lips during the medal ceremony following Spain’s win over England in Sydney on August 20 with prosecutors opening a sexual assault investigation a week later.
Hermoso said the kiss was not consensual but Rubiales insists that it was, and has maintained throughout the ensuing fallout that he “would continue to defend his position to tell the truth”.
Rubiales was provisionally suspended for 90 days by world football governing body FIFA on August 26. The suspension means he can no longer currently serve as RFEF president, nor can he fulfil his role as UEFA vice president.
The RFEF, which initially issued statements in defence of Rubiales, earlier this week offered “the most sincere apologies to the whole of world football” but did not address or reference Hermoso.
Rubiales has remained defiant ever since the incident and said earlier this month that he had faced a “media lynching”.
Jenni Hermoso and Luis Rubiales: A timeline of what happened after Spain’s World Cup win
(Photo: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)