A Spanish high court judge has initiated an investigation into former Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales following a legal complaint filed by Spain forward Jenni Hermoso.
The complaint revolves around an incident where Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the lips following Spain's Women's World Cup final victory.
Hermoso, 33, asserted that the kiss was not consensual, while Rubiales contended that it was a "mutual" and "consensual" act. The controversy surrounding the incident led to Rubiales resigning as president of the Spanish FA.
Last week, Prosecutor Marta Durantez Gil submitted a complaint to Spain's high court, accusing Rubiales of sexual assault and coercion. On Monday, Judge Francisco de Jorge of the National Court accepted the complaint, marking the commencement of an investigation.
A magistrate will be appointed to oversee the investigation, which will culminate in either a recommendation for the case to proceed to trial or its dismissal. Under Spanish law, the charge of sexual assault carries penalties ranging from fines to up to four years in prison.
Hermoso, who plays for Pachuca, posted a statement on social media in late August, emphasising that the kiss was not consensual and expressing her belief that no one should endure such non-consensual behaviors in any professional, sports, or social setting. She described feeling vulnerable and disrespected in the aftermath of the incident.