In 2011, Pietro Lamberti, a 60-year-old social services worker in Catanzaro, Italy, was convicted of having sex with a minor. The girl in question was 11 years old, and Lamberti was sentenced to five years in prison. But wait! Now, Lamberti's conviction has been overturned. Sex with an 11-year-old? No harm, no foul. Why? They were in love.
According to the AFP:
An Italian high court has overturned the conviction of a 60-year-old man for having sex with an 11-year-old girl, because the verdict failed to take into account their "amorous relationship".
[Lamberti] was convicted in February 2011 and sentenced to five years in prison for sexual acts with a minor.
The verdict was later upheld by an appeals court.
But the Italian supreme court ruled that the verdict did not sufficiently consider "the 'consensus', the existence of an amorous relationship, the absence of physical force, the girl's feelings of love".
She was in love, therefore everything is okay. Except of course it is NOT okay. It is FAR from okay. And authorities knew it:
Lamberti was caught naked in bed with the girl after an investigation by police based largely on wire-tap evidence, [Italian paper Il Quotidiano] said.
Not only are we talking about a child, who cannot possibly give consent, she's a child who was basically Lamberti's client. An Italian paper reported, "the girl came from a poor family who had known and trusted the social worker." Trust that was obviously abused.
The Italian supreme court actually overturned the verdict earlier this year, in October, but the news was not made public until this month, and, according to AFP, the news has "slowly spread to social media networks." Let's hope it spreads far and wide — this decision is disgusting and the Italian court needs to be shamed.
Image via Getty.