Court acquits man of fumbling ‘because it only took seconds’ – sparking protests on TikTok | world news


An Italian court’s decision to acquit a janitor who groped a schoolgirl for “just a few seconds” has sparked outrage.

The girl, who was 17 at the time of the incident, said the man approached her from behind, put his hands inside her briefs and lifted them slightly in the air as she pulled her pants up after talking to a friend went up a flight of stairs.

A jury said in its decision that “the whole thing lasted about five to ten seconds” and was conducted without “libidinal or lustful intent.”

The 66-year-old said he grabbed the back of the girl’s pants “as a joke” at the school in Rome’s Ostiense district.

Afterward, he begged the girl to let it go, telling her, “You’re going to ruin my life, I didn’t do anything to you.”

In its July 6 verdict, a jury concluded that the inappropriate gesture was so brief that it cast “substantial doubt” about whether it was voluntary, arguing that it was merely a hoax , “convincing”.

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Andrea Buitoni, a lawyer for the girl, told news site Fanpage that the decision would “definitely” be appealed.

“It’s not the way an old man jokes with a 17-year-old girl. At least I think so,” the girl was quoted as saying by Corriere della Sera newspaper, which said she had just turned 18.

The ruling has sparked an online protest, with thousands of social media users posting videos of themselves touching intimate body parts using the hashtags #10seconds and #quickgrope.

The online campaign also includes actor and comedian Paolo Camilli, who stars in The White Lotus.

He posted a TikTok video of him rubbing his chest for 10 seconds and said, “If this isn’t harassment, what is?”

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