Italy’s Berlusconi To Be Tried

An Italian judge has ordered Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi to stand trial on charges he paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl and then tried to cover it up.

The judge’s ruling came weeks after prosecutors said they were investigating Mr. Berlusconi on charges that he paid Karima El Mahroug, a nightclub dancer nicknamed Ruby Heart-Stealer, for sex before she turned 18 and abused his office in calling the police to intervene when she was detained in May for theft.

Berlusconi and Mahroug say they did not have sex, although Mahroug said 7,000 euros by Berlusconi the first time she came to his villa for a party last year.

The age of consent is 14 in Italy and prostitution is legal, but not with someone under the age of 18.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of 3 years for underage prostitution and 12 years for abuse of office.

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