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Spain’s ex-soccer chief Rubiales to stand trial for kissing player

  • Three others stand accused of coercing victim into saying the kiss was consensual

Former Spanish soccer federation chief Luis Rubiales will stand trial for his unsolicited kiss of national team player Jenni Hermoso after a High Court judge admitted the case, the court said on Wednesday.

Rubiales faces one count of sexual assault and one of coercion for his alleged actions in the aftermath of the kiss. The offences carry prison terms of one year and 18 months, respectively.

The High Court said it would also try the former coach of the women’s national team, Jorge Vilda, the team’s current sporting director, Albert Luque, and the federation’s head of marketing, Ruben Rivera. All three stand accused of coercing Hermoso into saying the kiss was consensual.

Rubiales, 46, grabbed Hermoso and kissed her on the lips last August 20 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.

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

The court set a bail of 65,000 euros ($69,836) for Rubiales’ charge of sexual assault and another 65,000 euros to be posted jointly between Rubiales, Vilda, Luque and Rivera for the coercion charge.

The case falls under the High Court’s jurisdiction because the alleged offences took place abroad.

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