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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

60 year old man in a sexual relationship not abusive Italian court says

In a rather stunning verdict, the Italian Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a 60 year social service worker, Pietrio Lamberti,  for having a sexual relationship with an 11 year old girl. The reasons are reported to be that the lower courts failed to consider the amorous relationship and the consensus between the two. In some fashion, this is seen as justifying the relationship.

This seems astounding for several reasons. The first seems to be that many victims of sexual abuse can feel good in some way about the relationship. It can make them feel special and they may receive treats that others do not. In this case, the girl came from a poor family.

Even more important, is an 11 year old really capable of consenting to sex with a 60 year old? There is little reason to believe that such consent could be valid. The age difference creates a power differential. A child of this age (and she is clearly a child at that age) cannot really appreciate what she is consenting to.

In rather classic fashion, the social worker is reported to have gained the trust of the family. This is grooming behavior.

In this case, the court appears to have failed to understand the true nature of child sexual abuse. They have been hoodwinked by the kind of rationale that pedophiles create. How unfortunate. 


  1. WOW! Peter, that is totally out of touch with reality!

    It is fascinating to me how different the court systems vary from country to country. I am here in the USA and I sometimes forget that what is legal here (like freedom of speech and the ability to criticize our political leaders) can get you thrown in prison elsewhere. A few weeks ago, I was listening to a news report from Britain that highlighted that the accused (in some countries?) is not entitled to legal representation or consultation. That was an eye-opener, too.

    It is tragic, though, to think about this 11 year old "consenting" to much of anything. So sad . . . .

    On a different note, so happy to find your blog here and hope to be back soon to read more of your posts.

  2. In my own travels in various countries, I am struck at the differences in legal systems. You are right - what is taken for granted in one country is totally unacceptable in another.