Silvio Berlusconi, Karima El Mahroug
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been found guilty of having sex with an underage prostitute, The Associated Press reports. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and is barred from holding any public office for the rest of his life.
The charges against Berlusconi, 76, stem from a 2010 party where prosecutors said he had sex with Karima el-Mahroug, known as Ruby, who was 17 at the time. Both parties denied the allegations, but in a different trial, El-Mahroug testified that after each party, Berlusconi gave her up to 3,000 euros. El-Mahroug failed to show up for her testimony in Berlusconi's trial and was eventually dropped as a witness.
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"This is beyond reality," Berlusconi's lawyer Niccolo Ghedini said outside the courtroom, indicating the team's plans to appeal the verdict.
Berlusconi, who served on and off as prime minister between 1994 and 2011, was recently convicted of tax fraud which carries its own four-year prison sentence and a five-year ban on public office.