Soccer Star Lucas Hernández Avoids 6 Month Prison Term

Photo credit: en.as.com

Lucas Hernández, a 2018 World Cup Champion for France, has won an appeal in a Spanish court for a six month prison sentence arising out of a restraining order violation from 2017. He will instead need to pay an approximately $100,000 fine and will be put on a sort of four year probation.

What was the initial incident?

In 2017, a fight occurred between Hernández and his then-girlfriend, Amelia Ossa Llorente, which turned physical. At the time he was playing for Atlético Madrid, and they both were living in Spain. The couple themselves did not call police. Onlookers from the street reported the incident to the authorities. Though Llorente was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries, neither pressed charges against the other.

Hernández was nonetheless convicted of domestic violence by a public prosecutor, and each of them were required to complete 31 days of community service. The court further required them to not see each other for six months. Specifically, they were required to not come within 500 meters of each other for the half year duration.

Violating the court order

Though they each were required to stay apart for half a year following the altercation, this restraining order was eventually broken. Four months following the court order, still in 2017, Hernández and Llorente traveled together to the United States to get married. Following the ceremony in Las Vegas, they took a honeymoon to the Bahamas, but shortly after they landed back home in Madrid the couple was detained at the airport. Llorente was fortunate enough to avoid legal charges because she was never properly served a copy of the restraining order under Spanish law. Hernández, however, was charged with violating the court’s ruling.

Couldn’t this have been avoided?

Typically, yes. It is common for restraining orders to be lifted by the parties involved filing a motion with the court, which would then be evaluated by the judge as to whether it is necessary to continue the order, or at least vary its conditions. It is unclear if any attempt was made by Hernández to do so, or why he may have chosen not to.

The Appeal

In 2019, Hernández was formally sentenced to six months jail time arising from the 2017 breach of the order. Hernández made several appeals to this decision, which were finally brought to a conclusion last week. Originally, he was expected to begin his sentence October 28th by voluntarily arriving to prison in Spain. Hernández, who now plays for German team Bayern Munich, was given a second chance by Section 26 of Madrid’s provincial court, which ruled he would instead face the €96,000 fine and probation.

Court documents state a sentence can be suspended “when looking at the personal circumstances of the inmate, the nature of the fact, their conduct and, in particular, the effort to repair the damage caused.” The court goes on to say, “Regarding his family and social circumstances, it has been highlighted in the appeal that the convicted person lives with Mrs. de la Osa and their son, without any new incidents between them being recorded.”

The court highlighted that this sentence is, for now, only suspended. Should the Bayern Munich player commit another related offense any time in the next four years, the suspension will be revoked and the six month incarceration will be imposed.

Sources:

https://www.espn.com/soccer/bayern-munich-gerbayern_munich/story/4506755/bayern-munichs-lucas-hernandez-avoids-jail-time-for-disobeying-restraining-order

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/18/football/lucas-hernandez-restraining-order-appeal-spt-intl/index.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-58897147

https://www.bavarianfootballworks.com/2021/10/14/22725213/bayern-munich-lucas-hernandez-jail-spain-legal-court-judge-muller-lewandowski-nagelsmann-sane-sule

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Third year law student at the University at Buffalo School of Law and former collegiate 400m athlete with special interests in all areas of track & field.

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