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Luis Rubiales, with his lawyer, on arrival at court. Photo: EFE / Video: Europa Press
World Cup kiss controversy

Judge imposes restraining order on Luis Rubiales and bans him from communicating with Jenni Hermoso following World Cup kiss controversy

The former president of the RFEF Spanish football federation reiterated before a judge in Madrid that the kiss was consensual and denies allegations of sexual assault and coercion against the player and her family

Mateo Balín

Madrid

Friday, 15 September 2023, 15:42

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Spain's National Court judge Francisco de Jorge has imposed a restraining order against Luis Rubiales to protect Jenni Hermoso and banned him from communicating with the football player through any channel during the investigation of the case. The measure prevents the former president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) from approaching the complainant within a radius of 200 metres. If this order is not respected, the magistrate could impose other more restrictive measures on Rubiales.

However, the judge rejected the Public Prosecutor's Office request for biweekly court appearances to be imposed and the request of the player's lawyer to preventively seize the assets of the person under investigation.

Rubiales finally stepped down from his head of the RFEF role this week after becoming in embroiled in alleged non-consensual kiss on the lips controversy with the player during the FIFA Women's World Cup trophy presentation some weeks ago in Australia.

This Friday morning, 15 September, Rubiales arrived at the Central Court in Madrid shortly after 11am accompanied by his legal representative Olga Tubau, a Catalan criminal case lawyer.

Rubiales' court statement lasted about an hour as he rejected the accusations of sexual assault and coercion against him. He told the judge that the kiss he gave Hermoso at the presentation of the World Cup trophy in Sydney, Australia was consensual.

The footballer's lawyer, Carla Vall, told the waiting media that Hermoso "has been affected by the facts, by the humiliation she experienced in the stadium and which has also tarnished a sporting milestone". "The whole country saw it, and we can say precisely that thanks to this, thanks to social change and legal change, we can argue that there was a complete lack of consent on the part of Mr Rubiales," she added.

'There was harassment'

The complaint was filed by prosecutor Durántez argues after hearing from Hermoso that the kiss took place without her consent and that there was subsequent pressure from Rubiales' entourage on the trip back to Spain to drop the charges.

"In her statement, (the player) also said that both she and her immediate family suffered constant and repeated pressure from Luis Rubiales and his professional entourage to change her mind," the prosecutor said. "Hermoso suffered harassment, against her peace, tranquility and freedom," Durántez added.

The Central Court Judge Francisco de Jorge has requested from broadcaster RTVE all the videos they have in their archives that show the moment of the kiss from all angles, as well as the minutes immediately before and after the kiss. The judge also asked Spanish newspaper El País for the video of the celebration in the dressing room, which is posted on the internet, and the newspaper AS for the video of the kiss. Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia was also asked for the video of the celebration in the bus of the Spanish women's football team.

Anyone who carries out any act that violates the sexual freedom of another person without their consent faces between one and four years in prison, or a fine, depending on the case. With regard to the crime of coercion, offenders face a fine or imprisonment up to three years, depending on the seriousness of the incident.

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