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Paedophile Jailed For Sex With Girl, 11, Has Conviction Overturned Because Of 'Loving Relationship'

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The conviction was overturned and a retrial has been ordered (file picture)
The conviction was overturned and a retrial has been ordered (file picture)

A 60-year-old man caught having sex with an 11-year-old girl has had his conviction overturned by an Italian high court because the pair were in a loving relationship, according to media reports.

Social worker Pietro Lamberti of Catanzaro, southern Italy, was sentenced to five years in prison in February 2011 after he was convicted of sexual acts with a minor, AFP writes.

The agency adds the verdict was upheld by an appeals court but overturned by Italy’s supreme court, which ruled it did not sufficiently consider “the ‘consensus’, the existence of an amorous relationship, the absence of physical force, the girl’s feelings of love.”

The court’s October decision to order a retrial was made public in December by paper Il Quotidiano della Calabria.

The newspaper described the girl as “disadvantaged” and quotes Lamberti as telling the girl their relationship “is a secret that we have to bring to the grave.”

According to Russia Today, the high court judge who overturned the conviction said the pair: “Shared a genuine loving emotional bond that could justify the carnal union between the two.”

The age of consent in Italy is 14.