Via the BBC, Italian news company TGCom24 is reporting that Italy’s top appeals court has annulled a five-year jail sentence against a 60-year-old man who had been found guilty of sexual violence against a minor. Why? Because the court determined that the man and the 11-year-old girl he was found in bed with have a “romantic relationship.”
The man, a social worker for the city of Catanzaro, had taken in the 11-year-old, who comes from a “disadvantaged background” into his care. Police had discovered the two in his bed after a raid of his seaside home.
The court cites the child’s insistence that she is "in love" with the man and decided that the two have a “romantic relationship.” Neither the BBC nor TGCom24 mention the prosecution's side of the story. While all of this is horrifying, there is hope the man will serve time for his crime – the court that initially found him guilty will retry the case. The BBC notes that “court cases in Italy are normally subject to several levels of appeal before a sentence is confirmed.”