I had been hunting through my files for the official wording on the charges against Marco. I’ve been pretty good about organizing my files, but this particular one eluded me. But alas, I found it. On the day the Public Prosecutor filed the official charges and released the collected evidence to both my attorney and Marco’s for review, the following charges were entered into the court record, and sent to the Pre-Trial Judge whose job it is to evaluate that evidence and determine if a case should move forward to trial, or be dismissed:
BRIEF NOTES ON MR XXXX’S CHARGES
Art. = article
c.p. = codice penale (Italian criminal code).
Art. 609 bis c.p. – Sexual ASSAULT
Is punished from a minimum to 5 years of jail up to a maximum of 10 years of jail, who – with the use of violence or threat or with abuse of authority – force someone else to do or to suffer sexual acts.
The same punishment is provided for who induce [no violence or threat] someone else to do or to suffer sexual acts:
1) Abusing of the conditions of physical or psychological minority of the offended party at the time of the sexual acts;
2) When the offended party is mislead by the aggressor who substitutes himself to another person.
In minor cases, the punishment is reduced up to a maximum of two third.
Art. 582 c.p. – Personal lesion.
Is punished with jail from a minimum of 3 months up to 3 years, who causes to someone else a lesion, which determinates a physical or psychological disease.
According to articles 585 and 576 n. 1 c.p., the punishment for the crime described in art. 582 c.p. can be increased from a minimum of 1/3 up to the half, if the crime of personal lesion is committed to execute another crime (in your case sexual assault).
Marco XXXX’s charges are described in the official communication of investigation closing, as follows:
“A) art. 609 bis c.p.: because with violence consisted in grabbing Miss Potts Keri’s arms and head, retaining her using his hands and body, forced Miss Potts to suffer sexual acts consisted in kissing her mouth, biting her lips and touching her genital area.”
“B) art. 582, 585 c.p. in relation to art. 576 n. 1 c.p., because in order to commit the crime as described in the above paragraph [ A) ], Mr XXX has hit Miss Potts’ face with a punch, causing her a personal lesion curable in 7 days [is what the doctors of the Hospital wrote on their report].
“In Rome the 12th of November 2008”.
I don’t know about you, but after everything I went through: false imprisonment, sexual assault, physical assault, his reckless endangerment of my life, to see these two paltry charges on paper, I felt cheated and triumphant. I kept reminding myself it was a victory to even get that far. But on its face, it makes it seem like all he did was grab me and whack me in the face. In essence, that’s what his crimes were reduced to.
I was told January 28 would be the date for the Pre-Trial hearing in Rome. My attorney and his would plead their cases to the judge and the judge would decide if we were to move ahead. I was relieved to have a date in hand. For the new year, I knew I’d have to conserve my vacation days – possibly take a leave of absence – and cut my expenses, anticipating a lengthy trip (3+ weeks) to Rome. My attorney told me to prep for an early summer trial. And that entailed several visits to the Italian Embassies (New Jersey and New York).
Next post, I’ll walk you through the concept of Power of Attorney.