Florence Cop Admits to On-Duty Sex with American
One of the two carabiniere policemen accused in the American student rape case reported to Florence’s district attorney office and admitted to having had sex with one of the girls, but that she, in his words, “was willing” and that he had been invited to go into the apartment building. His statement was in answer to charges filed on September 7.
The policemen have been temporarily suspended from the police force.
Clearer details are emerging. The young women, who had just arrived in Florence to begin a study abroad semester program, ages 19 and 20, are from the East Coast. Unable to find a cab available to take them home after a night at Flo near Piazzale Michelangelo, two on-duty policemen who had earlier broken up a brawl on club premises gave them a ride home in the early hours of the morning. The cops had not reported to headquarters that they were accompanying the girls.
According to the lawyer of the 19-year-old, both students had been drinking – one could not even stand up – and were certainly in no state to give their consent to sexual relations with the policemen.
Surveillance cameras record that the police car was parked for 23 minutes in the vicinity of Borgo Santi Apostoli, where the students share an apartment. After opening the front door, the women say that the policemen raped them in the space outside their home, including the elevator. They called their advisor at their Italian host school, and were taken to the hospital. Semen stains have been found on a skirt and on a blouse.
There are two other tenants in the small apartment complex located in an historical building, but they heard nothing. In the charges, the women assert they were afraid to call out for help because the police were in uniform and armed. To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.
At the beginning of every new term, all American universities with Florence campuses as well as provider organizations give safety guidelines to students, and show a video with information presented by the U.S. Consul General. Each school also sets up volunteer and internship opportunities to integrate them as best as possible into Italian life and culture to avoid that Florence be experienced as a “Renaissance Disneyland” and to combat the late night drinking problem. (rosanna cirigliano)