Spain’s High Court has a restraining order to prevent former soccer chief Luis Rubiales approaching Jenni Hermoso, as he appeared in court to be investigated for sexual assault for kissing her on the lips.
The incident, which occurred at the medal ceremony after Spain’s women’s team won the World Cup last month has triggered a furore over sexism in Spanish sport and society and prompted protests similar to the ‘Me Too’ movement.
Rubiales, 46, insists the kiss was consensual, while Hermoso says it was forced on her.
The order prevents Rubiales trying to contact Hermoso or coming within 200 metres of her, according to a court statement. Judge Francisco de Jorge rejected a request by the prosecution that Rubiales should report to the court every two weeks.
Rubiales left the High Court in Madrid with his lawyer Olga Tubau following a closed-door investigative hearing that lasted about an hour. He did not speak to the media waiting outside.
During the testimony, Rubiales denied the accusations, according to a statement by the prosecutor’s office.
After weeks of resisting calls from players, politicians and women’s groups to step down as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), Rubiales finally quit on Sept. 10.
But he remains unrepentant, saying he acted with consent in a moment of celebration and joy.
As he went to court, local media reported that female players, including the World Cup-wining squad, planned to continue their boycott of the national side until there were further changes in the federation set-up.
After Hermoso told prosecutors that Rubiales kissed her on the mouth without her consent while holding her head with both hands – a moment seen by millions on television – state prosecutor Marta Durantez Gil filed a judicial complaint.
She added a possible crime of coercion after Hermoso said she and her relatives had been put under pressure by Rubiales and his entourage to say that she had approved what happened.
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