FIFA suspended Royal Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales for three months for his unwanted kiss of midfielder Jenni Hermoso during the Women's World Cup trophy presentation Aug. 20 in Sydney. Photo by Eidan Rubio/EPA-EFE/RFEF
Sept. 8 (UPI) -- A prosecutor in Spain filed a complaint against Luis Rubiales, accusing the soccer federation president of sexual assault for kissing Jenni Hermoso at the World Cup, her office said Friday in a news release.
Hermoso, who has maintained that the kiss Aug. 20 in Sydney was not consensual, formally accused Rubiales of sexual assault Tuesday.
That action and an investigation led prosecutor Marta Durantez Gil to present the case against Rubiales on Thursday to Spain's national court, with specific charges of "sexual assault and coercion," a release obtained by CNN and the BBC said.
The national court now could launch a formal investigation into the embattled president. Gil asked the judge to request Rubiales' appearance in court to offer testimony.
The case could go to trial or be dismissed based on the judge's decision to hear the case and the result of the investigation. Gil also asked Australian authorities to determine if the incident would be considered criminal in their country.
Rubiales, who was suspended by FIFA, but who has refused to resign from his role, maintains that the kiss was consensual. He faces potential fines or a prison sentence if convicted of the charges, based on what is known as the "only yes means yes' law, passed last year by Spain's congress.
"The complaint is filed after, on Sept. 5, the player [Hermoso] appeared before the prosecutor, accompanied by her lawyer, and expressly made a complaint of the events that, according to her statement, occurred without her consent," the press release from the prosecutor said.
In addition to this latest legal development, Rubiales faces challenges from a government legal panel, which oversees sports, in Spain.
The Rubiales matter continues to mar Spain's otherwise spectacular run to its first 2023 World Cup title. Fans, soccer and government officials, players and others have called on the president to resign.
Last month, dozens of players said they would boycott Spain's international matches until Rubiales vacated his position.
The federation also fired manager Jorge Vilda on Tuesday in what it called "one of the first renovation measures" within its crumbling infrastructure.
The Spain women's national team will face Sweden in a Nations league match at 12:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 22 in Gothenburg, Sweden.