Former Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales will face trial for kissing striker Jenni Hermoso without her consent at the Women’s Soccer World Cup, a judge ruled Thursday.
Judge Francisco de Jorge determined, after analyzing all the evidence in this case, that Rubiales’ kiss was done “without consent, in a cavalier manner and in a completely unexpected manner,” he said.
State prosecutors charged Rubiales with sexual assault for coercing Hermoso into publicly supporting him, after sparking public outrage.
After initially alleging that he was the victim of a smear campaign by “fake feminists,” Rubiales eventually decided to resign from his position due to his behavior during the trophy ceremony. World Cup in Sydney last August. He always denied having committed any wrongdoing.
The judge also determined that in addition to Rubiales, the former coach of the Spanish team Jorge Vilda, the sporting director of the men’s national team Albert Luque, and the former marketing president of the federation should be translated in court for encouraging Hermoso to publicly defend Rubiales, which she always refused to do.
The trial date has not been set.
Hermoso gave his testimony before the judge in the case in January. The 33-year-old striker, the top scorer in the history of Spain who plays in the Mexican championship, benefits from the support of the population. Many hope that this affair will be a turning point in the fight against sexism in sport.
Under a sexual consent law that was passed in Spain in 2022, Rubiales could face a fine or prison term of one to four years if convicted, according to the office of the Attorney General of Madrid. This new law eliminates the difference between “sexual harassment” and “sexual assault”, and punishes any act of a sexual nature without consent.
FIFA suspended Rubiales for three years, until the conclusion of the 2026 men’s soccer World Cup. His suspension will expire before the next women’s soccer world tournament in 2027. Spanish sports authorities also announced that he will not be able to hold a management position within a sports federation for three years.