Former Spanish soccer federation chief Rubiales to stand trial for unsolicited World Cup kiss

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

Rubiales faces one count of sexual assault and one of coercion for his alleged actions following the kiss, which occurred after Spain’s World Cup victory last year. Spanish prosecutors are seeking a prison term of one year and 18 months respectively for the offenses, or a total of two years and six months.

Spain’s Public Ministry has formally accused Rubiales, the former president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), of sexual assault for kissing Hermoso “without consent or acceptance.”

Rubiales has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has said he was given consent from Hermoso. “For me, there is no crime,” Rubiales told TV channel La Sexta in April.

Rubiales, who has previously apologized for the kiss, told La Sexta there was nothing sexual about his actions and claimed he had asked Hermoso for consent, to which he said she replied “vale,” — Spanish for “OK.”

Hermoso has previously said she did not consent and was not respected by Rubiales.

“I’ve had to bear the consequences of an act that I didn’t provoke, which I didn’t choose or premeditate,” she told GQ Spain in an interview last November. “I’ve received threats and that’s something which you will never get used to.”

The High Court will 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. They are accused of coercing Hermoso into saying the kiss was consensual.

The court has set a bail of 65,000 euros ($69,836) for Rubiales’ charge of sexual assault. The court has also set a separate joint bail of 65,000 euros for Rubiales, Vilda, Luque and Rivera for the coercion charge.

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