Italian Supreme Court ruling decriminalizes public sex act
ITALY, September 12, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Public masturbation is no longer a crime, an Italian court ruled last week.
The decision follows a court case in which a 69-year-old man practiced “autoerotism” in front of a group of college-aged girls in Catania. The man who practiced this exhibitionist masturbation in the vicinity of the University of Catania campus was sentenced to three months in jail and a fine of 3,500 Euros, reported the local edition of La Repubblica.
After being twice convicted, the man made an appeal and lamented that legislative decree 28/2015 was not applied to his case. Decree 28/2015 deems that his actions are not punishable because of their particular circumstances and that they were not habitual. The man says the autoeroticism happened in conditions of “reduced visibility, after sunset” and that the “vicinity of the university campus did not demonstrate the intention to connect his action to the passing of students.”
The Italian Supreme Court declared the public sexual act as non-criminal, eliminating the three months of imprisonment from the man’s sentence. After the ruling, the man is supposed to go back to the local authorities in Catania for resentencing. He will not be let totally off the hook, but his sentence will be reduced to a fee between 5,000 and 35,000 Euros, and he will be relieved of all prison time.
The ruling in the Supreme Court case is called “sentence 36867” and declares these public acts of indecency as punishable with “administrative sanctions,” that is, a fee, but not with imprisonment. Public masturbation in front of minors is treated as a more severe offense punishable with up to 4 1/2 years of prison time.
In many countries, public masturbation remains a crime that is punished with imprisonment.