Luis Rubiales 'sexual assault' probe launched after fury over Spanish FA boss’s ‘unsolicited’ World Cup kiss with player | The Sun
SPANISH prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation to establish if FA boss Luis Rubiales may have sexually assaulted Women's World Cup star Jenni Hermoso.
A preliminary probe was announced on Monday amid fury after the Spanish football chief, 46, kissed World Cup hero Hermoso, 33, during victory celebrations last week.
A statement from Spain's highest court said: "Prosecutors from the National Court have opened a preliminary investigation to look into the facts, which could constitute an offence of sexual assault."
They would also contact Hermoso to offer her a chance to file a suit within 15 days.
Prosecutors added they had also received a complaint of "obscene exhibitionism before a minor" after Rubiales appeared to grab his crotch in the stands next to Spain's Princess Infanta Sofía.
Rubiales, who was suspended by FIFA, has refused to resign over the scandal – prompting mass walkouts of players and staff and plunging the World Cup-winning nation into crisis.
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He has insisted the kiss was consensual and that he is the victim of character assassination by "false feminists".
In a powerful statement on Friday, Hermoso said: "I felt vulnerable and a victim of an assault, an impulsive, macho act, out of place and with no type of consent on my part."
As many as 11 members of women's football staff in the Spanish football federation have also resigned from their posts.
But the controversial Spain women's coach Jorge Vilda did not resign despite criticising Rubiales' conduct.
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The court's announcement came as Spain's deputy prime minister Yolanda Diaz slammed "systemic" sexism on Monday.
Meanwhile Rubiales' elderly mum launched a bizarre hunger-strike protest over what she called an “inhumane witch-hunt” against her son.
She has demanded World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso tell the “truth” about the kiss – which Hermoso has made clear was not consensual.
The retired hairdresser is carrying out her protest at the Divina Pastora Church in the Andalucia coastal resort of Motril east of Malaga where the suspended Spanish FA president grew up.
She began her hunger strike this morning accompanied by a sister, 48, hours after her son travelled to Motril for a holiday.
Angeles, whose husband is a former mayor of Motril, says she will continue her radical action until father-of-three son Luis receives “justice” and Hermoso "tells the truth".
Rubiales has been suspended by FIFA and could face a similar sanction from UEFA.
However, the Spanish FA have threatened to leave UEFA if they were to intervene.
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Leaving the governing body would see the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid removed from this season's Champions League.
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