The Italian Almanac

Italian News - January 20th

off limits

Pinching a woman's behind as she walked down Italian streets went out of style decades ago. Now Italy's top court has ruled that a fleeting pat on the backside deserves a jail sentence.

The Court ruling upheld an appellate court conviction of a man for sexual violence and supporting his suspended, 14-month sentence. In 2001, a 40-year-old man in the northeastern region of Friuli patted a young woman's behind as she made a call from a public telephone. Initially, a court had ruled that the action didn't constitute a crime. But the woman turned to the appeals court in Trieste, Friuli's regional capital, which ruled touching her bottom constituted sexual assault.