Spanish public prosecutors demanded on Friday that suspended football chief Luis Rubiales be charged for sexual assault over his unsolicited kiss on the lips of player Jenni Hermoso at the Women’s World Cup final.
In a statement, the district attorney’s office stated that “the prosecutors request that Jenni Hermoso be questioned as a victim and Luis Rubiales be questioned as an accused.”
The request must now be accepted or archived by a judge at Spain’s highest criminal court.
An investigating magistrate will be appointed to lead the investigation if the judge grants the request.
Under Spanish law, sexual assault covers a broad range of offenses, each with a distinct punishment, from online abuse and leering to rape.
A non-consensual kiss can result in a fine or up to four years in prison.
Rubiales, the 46-year-old president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), sparked an international backlash when he forcibly kissed Hermoso on August 20 during the medal ceremony following Spain’s victory in Sydney.
Hermoso, 33, later claimed that the unwelcome kiss left her feeling “vulnerable and like the victim of an assault,” and she later described it in a social media post as “an impulsive, macho act, out of place, and without any type of consent on my part.”. Rubiales maintains that the kiss was mutual.