Former Spanish Football Association Chief, Luis Rubiales, has been ordered to stay at least 200 meters away from Jenni Hermoso and refrain from contacting her following his initial court appearance for allegedly kissing her against her will.
Judge Francisco de Jorge issued the restraining order to prevent Rubiales, aged 46, from approaching Hermoso after he appeared in Madrid’s Audencia Nacional court to deny charges of sexual assault and coercion brought by the footballer.
State prosecutors had requested that the investigating judge consider imposing a restraining order, prohibiting Rubiales from coming within 500 meters of Hermoso or attempting to communicate with her. They also suggested that he be required to report to the court every 15 days to prevent him from leaving the country.
The judge approved the restraining order but opted for a stricter measure, forbidding Rubiales from approaching within 200 meters of the 33-year-old Hermoso.
Rubiales arrived in court accompanied by his lawyer, Olga Tubau, and testified before Judge Francisco de Jorge, who is leading the investigation into the alleged kiss. Hermoso will also be summoned to testify at a later date.
Spanish state prosecutors officially charged Rubiales last week with sexual assault and coercion based on Hermoso’s claim that he pressured her to defend him immediately after the incident became public.
During an hour-long closed-door hearing, the state prosecutors’ office reported that Rubiales denied both accusations when questioned by the judge.
The incident in question occurred when Rubiales, then head of Spain’s RFEF football federation, kissed Hermoso on the lips in front of shocked onlookers after Spain’s victory over England in the World Cup final on August 20.
Rubiales has consistently maintained that the kiss was consensual, but Hermoso has asserted that it was not and left her feeling like the “victim of an assault.”
Neither Rubiales nor his defense attorney, Olga Tubau, made statements to the media outside the courtroom.
Hermoso’s attorney, Carla Vall i Duran, expressed satisfaction with the hearing, reiterating that the kiss was non-consensual, as they have claimed from the beginning. She emphasized that they will demonstrate this in court.
Judge De Jorge admitted the complaint against Rubiales filed by the public prosecutors’ office, which cited alleged “offenses of sexual assault” and “coercion.”
Following a recent reform of the Spanish penal code, a non-consensual kiss can be classified as sexual assault, encompassing various forms of sexual violence.
Judge De Jorge is currently conducting the preliminary investigation into the allegations against Rubiales and will later decide whether the case should proceed to trial.
If found guilty of sexual assault, Rubiales could face fines or up to four years in prison, according to sources at the public prosecutors’ office.
In their complaint, prosecutors included the charge of coercion based on Hermoso’s statement that she and her associates had faced ongoing pressure from Luis Rubiales and his professional team to justify and endorse his actions.