> ANSA English > News

Top court overturns anti-Mafia priest's child-abuse sentence

Cassation says main charge timed out

28 November, 14:37
Top court overturns anti-Mafia priest's child-abuse sentence (ANSA) - Palermo, November 28 - Italy's supreme Court of Cassation on Wednesday overturned a six-year prison sentence given to famous Palermo anti-Mafia priest Paolo Turturro over allegations he sexually abused children in his parish.

Turturro, a distant relative of the American actor John Turturro, had been convicted of abusing two children, aged six and 12 at the time, between 2000 and 2001.

The court ruled that the charges were timed according to Italy's statute of limitations. It also ordered that a six-month conviction for a lesser charge be sent back to the appeals stage of Italy's three-level justice system. The priest has always denied the accusations against him.

Before the allegations came to light, Turturro was famous for anti-Cosa Nostra initiatives, including calls for local Mafiosi to repent and the organization of bonfires for children to burn toy guns on.

At one time, Turturro was given a security escort after a bullet was placed in his confessional box as a warning from local mobsters.