A JUDGE has ruled the kiss Luis Rubiales planted on Jenni Hermoso was ‘not consensual’ as he is set to face trial in Spain.
A ruling by National magistrate, Francisco de Jorge, has concluded the disgraced ex-UEFA vice president should face a criminal trial.
The judgement, handed down on Thursday, January 24, concluded Rubiales’ actions were ‘criminally relevant’ and recommended the former Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) President be tried for sexual assault.
If found guilty, Rubiales could face a sentence from one to four years in prison.
The judge also recommended three other Spanish Football Federation Officials be tried on charges of coercion for exerting pressure on Hermoso to show support for Rubiales following the infamous kiss.
They include Jorge Vilda, the former coach of Spain’s women’s team, who was fired after the incident, Albert Luque, the men’s sporting director and Ruben Rivera, the RFEF’s marketing director.
De Jorge concluded the kiss Rubiales gave Hermoso at the 2023 Women’s World Cup prize giving ceremony was ‘non-consensual and a unilateral and surprise act.’
Now, Rubiales’ defence team has three days to appeal the decision, while public prosecutors have ten days to formalise their accusations before a trial will take place.
According to the judge: “In a surprising and unexpected manner, he [Rubiales] placed a kiss on the lips of the player [Hermoso], who was not aware of the defendant’s intention to kiss her on the lips and did not give her consent.
“Disconcerted and surprised by the unexpected kiss on the lips, she did not have time to react. “The player tried to play it down at first and continue celebrating the historic victory of the national team. However, as the hours went by, the euphoria of the victory gave way to discomfort and the feeling of having been offended by the action described above, a feeling that increased with pressure from others”.
The magistrate further recommended that prosecutors consider whether or not the kiss was ‘erotic in nature’ as well as his state of ‘euphoria and agitation’.
Rubiales’ defence team has previously resorted to these questions to try to get the case thrown out.
However the judge concluded they are ‘criminally relevant’, meaning the case against him will continue.
He warned: “Kisses on the lips enter into an area of intimacy normally reserved for sexual relations.”
De Jorge also referenced Luque, Vilda and Rivera’s attempts to ‘bend Jennifer Hermoso’s will’ to make her ‘film a video where she says the kiss was consensual’.
The trio allegedly threatened Hermoso, saying if she didn’t film the video she would suffer negative consequences in her personal life and professional career.
Rubiales was reportedly aware of these attempts and he was the first to try to convince Hermoso to change her statement during the Spanish side’s flight back from Australia.
The footballer reportedly refused, expressing her discomfort with the events.
This led the ousted UEFA president to look to Vilda, Rivera and Luque for help.
According to the judge, these actions ‘could eventually be seen as a minor crime’ and as they are related to Rubiales’ more serious offence, should be brought before a criminal investigation.
Hermoso gave in to the pressure, despite ‘persistent’ requests from Rivera.
The publicity lead allegedly sought help in Luque, who made a friend of Hermoso try to convince her to publicly absolve Rubiales.
The incident, which took place during the Spanish team’s supposed ‘victory’ trip to Ibiza, saw Luque send a message to the footballer expressing his ‘rage’, ‘accusing her of being a bad person’, ‘wishing she ended up alone’ and saying ‘I hope your happy about what’s going to happen now.’