Luis Rubiales, former president of the Spanish Football Federation is in trouble. In so much trouble in fact he has had to resign his position and a criminal complaint of sexual assault and an act of coercion under the Spain’s Criminal Code 2016 has been filed with Spanish police.
Why? He kissed Jenni Hermosa on the lips following Spain’s first ever win in the women’s
What would a defence lawyer say about the charges? It all boils down to body language. It could be argued that at the time of the kiss, Hermosa can be seen with her arms around Rubiales in what appears to be a tight hug. She then outstretches her hands on either side of Rubiales’s mid torso area and gives him a tap as she leaves the podium. She did not pull back and can even be seen to move forward. She left the podium without any visible signs of distress.
After the event she is rumoured to have said but she later denied saying: “it was a mutual show of affection” but then straight after the match and caught on video Hermosa says:
Rubiales’ actions were a natural gesture.
She later changed her tune claiming the kiss was non-consensual.
At first blush the defence could argue that this was consensual or at the very least a mistake of fact, in light of the highly charged emotional situation at the time. This is unlikely to get over the line in a criminal court.
As for the grabbing of his crotch – not exactly best practice – but Michael Jackson made millions upon millions for doing the very same for decades.