Italians Outraged as Court Clears School Janitor of Sexual Assault Charge for Groping Teenager in 5-Second Incident

Italian Social Media Outraged by Verdict Clearing School Janitor of Sexual Assault Charge

Italians are taking to social media to express their outrage over a court ruling that cleared a school janitor of a sexual assault charge involving a 17-year-old student. The court deemed the incident, which lasted for only a few seconds, as not sexual in nature, leading to widespread backlash. The verdict has ignited a wave of online protests as Italians denounce the decision and demand justice for the victim.

According to court documents, the teenager reported that the janitor approached her from behind while she was pulling up her trousers on the stairs of a Rome high school. He proceeded to slide his hand beneath her underpants and briefly lifted her in the air by pulling on the undergarments. Although the janitor admitted to the act, he claimed it was intended as a joke.

Last week, a court in Rome ruled that the groping incident lasted “just a few seconds” and concluded that it was not of a sexual nature. The court found the janitor’s argument that it was a poorly-timed joke to be convincing. However, the teen’s lawyer, Andrea Buitoni, has confirmed that they plan to appeal the decision. Under Italian law, both the prosecution and the defense have the right to appeal acquittals.

The controversial verdict has sparked widespread condemnation, and prominent figures have joined the call for justice. Paolo Camilli, an actor and comedian known for his role in “The White Lotus,” posted a video on TikTok reenacting the incident and questioning the court’s judgment. Numerous copycats have since created similar videos, depicting individuals counting down to ten seconds while mimicking inappropriate behavior.

Women’s rights organizations have also criticized the ruling, deeming it as unacceptable and a step backward for justice. Cristina Ercole, head of the anti-violence center at Differenza Donna, explained that the younger generation mobilizing on social media has expressed no doubt that the janitor’s actions constituted a crime.

However, this is not the first time Italy has faced controversy over court rulings related to sexual assault. In 2001, the country’s highest court overturned the conviction of a manager accused of patting a female employee’s bottom, stating that it was not an act driven by sexual desire. Similarly, in 1999, the same court argued that it was impossible to rape a woman wearing jeans, causing female lawmakers to protest by wearing jeans to Parliament.

The case has shed light on ongoing debates surrounding sexual assault and the need for greater protection and justice. The online outcry signifies a united front against rulings that minimize the severity of such acts, emphasizing the importance of holding perpetrators accountable for their actions. As the appeal process unfolds, the case will continue to garner attention and push for a reevaluation of the court’s decision.

In conclusion, Italians are using the power of social media to denounce a court verdict that cleared a school janitor of a sexual assault charge. The incident, lasting only a few seconds, has drawn widespread criticism and calls for justice. As the nation grapples with this contentious ruling, the case serves as a focal point in the ongoing conversation surrounding sexual assault and the need for stronger protections for victims.