"Berlusconi faces sex, abuse of power trial - 15 February 2011 AFP/AsiaOne
ROME - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will go on trial for buying underage sex and abuse of power in April, a judge ruled on Tuesday.
Judge Cristina Di Censa, the examining judge at the court in Milan, fixed the date for the first hearing in a fast-track trial for April 6 at 0830 GMT.
"We didn't expect anything else," Berlusconi's lawyers said on hearing the news.
Berlusconi will be tried by three female judges.
Di Censa upheld requests by Milan magistrates to fast-track a trial against the 74-year-old leader on allegations he paid for sex with a nightclub dancer called "Ruby the Heart Stealer," who was 17 at the time.
They also accused him of improperly using his power as prime minister by requesting that police release the young Moroccan after she had been arrested for alleged theft in May.
Using the services of prostitutes is not a crime in Italy, but paying for sex with a girl under the age of 18 is illegal. Berlusconi has denied ever paying for sex, let alone with Ruby, who only turned 18 in November 2010.
It is not the first time that the premier has been mired in a sex scandal. But he now faces three years in prison if found guilty of paying minors for sex, and from six to 12 years for abuse of power."
Well, like the press said he has faced controversies many times before and emerged with his popularity intact and did not caused him to reflect and slow down or change, let alone mend, his stand and style!! Maybe this time it will be different?
Lessons for me are:
1. when you think you can get away with doing things that insulted half the human race - the female population - repeatedly, you are WRONG! The last we learned was that there were thousands of Italian women protesting against his behaviors! Many of them belonged to his 'strongest voters' that put him into political power!;
2. while he claimed that his 'sexual prowess and magnetic properties to attract beautiful girls to him - for his look or money regardless' is the envy of most, if not all Italian men, he has sourly underestimated many Italian men that 'sex' is not the 'be all and end all' thing! It is part of a normal adult life. No more and no less. Over-indulgence and addiction is a sickness!!;
3. will this self-made billionaire get judge properly for his human weakness this time. Let's hope so. While he can get away with it for a while, when he does something that is assessed as flagrantly wrong by the majority, he has to eventually pay the price. Otherwise, the going on will change the moral standard of Italy and never to be reverted back.
No matter how rich and powerful you are, you simply cannot be a role model as national leader when your behaviors are criminal. Maybe this time he will pay his due!! Yes?