A court in Rome has cleared a school janitor of sexual assault charges after he groped a 17-year-old student, sparking outrage in Italy.
The janitor, who has not been named, admitted to groping the teenager in April 2022, but claimed it was a joke. He said he slipped his hand beneath her underpants and lifted her slightly in the air, but that it was not sexual in nature.
The judge who ruled on the case agreed, saying that the groping was “not sexual” and that it was “so brief that it could be considered a joke.” The judge also said that the teenager’s reaction to the groping was not “particularly distressed.”
The verdict has caused outrage in Italy, with many people calling it a “disgrace” and a “failure of justice.” The teenager who was groped has said that she is “devastated” by the verdict, and that she feels like she has been “let down” by the justice system.
The case has sparked a debate about sexual assault in Italy, and about the way that the justice system deals with these cases. Many people are calling for changes to the law, so that sexual assault is taken more seriously and that victims are better protected.