Luis Rubiales, again one step away from the bench for the non-consensual kiss with Jenni Hermoso | Sports

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The former president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) Luis Rubiales, after testifying as under investigation at the National Court last September.Sergio Pérez ((EPA) EFE)

Luis Rubiales is once again one step away from the dock. The judge of the National Court Francisco de Jorge has once again proposed judging the former president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for the non-consensual kiss of the player Jennifer Hermoso after the final of the last World Cup, held on August 20. in Sydney (Australia). The magistrate’s decision comes after the current women’s coach, Montse Tomé, was given a witness statement on February 2, as ordered days before by the Criminal Chamber of the National Court, which annulled the previous order of the magistrate with which he had concluded the investigation of the case. De Jorge now reiterates the arguments already used then to propose that Rubiales be tried, among them the existence of “solid indications” that the kiss on the player “was not consensual and was a unilateral and surprising initiative” by the top football manager. Spanish. The Prosecutor’s complaint charged Rubiales with an alleged crime of sexual assault and another of coercion.

The judge also proposes again that, along with the former president of the RFEF, the sports director of the men’s team, Albert Luque, sit on the bench; the former coach of the women’s team Jorge Vilda and the former marketing manager of the Federation Rubén Rivera. To all of them, for allegedly participating in a series of maneuvers to try to “break the will” of Hermoso and “get him to agree to record a video in which he said that the kiss had been consensual.” “The pressures to which the player was subjected created a situation of anxiety and intense stress,” highlights the instructor. Once the new judicial resolution – which can be appealed – is final, the Prosecutor’s Office and the accused persons will have 10 days to request the opening of an oral trial and, in that case, formulate a document of accusation.

The judge’s decision was expected after he issued an order to the same effect on January 25. After four months of investigations, the magistrate already concluded that Rubiales’ kiss to the soccer player was not consensual and that people from the former president of the federation’s “close circle” tried to pressure the player when the scandal broke out. At that time, the magistrate rejected the request of Vilda’s defense to take a statement from Tomé, who was his right-hand man within the technical team before replacing him, considering that this testimony was unnecessary for the case. Vilda appealed the judge’s decision and the National Court annulled the order and ordered the investigation to be carried out.

This statement took place on February 2 and in it the current coach of the women’s team stated that, although she did not call her to leave Hermoso off the squad list when she replaced him as coach, Vilda did urge her to participate in the RFEF assembly on August 25, even though she did not want to go. At that event, attendees supported and applauded Rubiales, who was supposedly going to present his resignation that day. Ultimately, he remained in office until he was suspended (and subsequently punished) by FIFA, which disqualified him for three years. Once Tomé’s statement was taken, the judge has now issued the order with which he again concludes the investigation and proposes to try the four defendants again.

The magistrate’s order is, in reality, a carbon copy of that of January. Thus, it once again stands out in the story of the events that, during the formal greeting prior to the presentation of the world champions trophy, Rubiales “held the player’s head with both hands, at ear level, and in a surprising manner. and unexpectedly kissed the player’s lips, who did not realize the defendant’s intention to kiss her on the lips nor did she give her consent to do so.” The magistrate highlights that the player, “bewildered and surprised,” did not have time to react and that although “she tried to downplay its importance at first and continue celebrating the team’s historic victory,” as the hours passed “it gave way to to discomfort and the feeling of having been offended.”

The judge adds that on the flight back to Spain, the then president of the RFEF tried to get Hermoso to agree “to make a public demonstration, carried out jointly with him, stating that the kiss had been consensual, to which the player refused, expressing their discomfort.” Rubiales then allegedly asked Vilda, still the coach at that time, to speak with the soccer player’s brother “to convince her to participate in making a video with the intended content.” This is what Vilda supposedly did, warning Hermoso’s relative that, if he did not do so, “his refusal would have negative consequences for her and he would experience harm to her professional career as a soccer player.”

Once in Spain, the judge considers that Rivera, head of marketing for the RFEF and also accused, also asked Hermoso “repeatedly and persistently” to participate in the exculpatory video for Rubiales, pressure in which the fourth allegedly later participated. of those involved, Albert Luque. He even showed up at the hotel where the player was staying during a trip to force her to talk to him. This manager also tried to convince a friend of the soccer player to convince her about her. Given her refusal, he “sent a WhatsApp message to Jennifer’s friend, insisting on her request for help to justify Luis Rubiales’s behavior, expressing his anger, accusing her of being a bad person, wishing her that she would be very alone in life and announcing to her who will be happy to see that happen.” The magistrate concludes that the results of the investigation support an accusation against the four investigated.

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