As I mentioned last post, I gave myself 9 days to pull it together so I could enjoy my vacation to Charleston. A drawn out legal case has the ability to drain you of patience for anything, even yourself. I don’t exactly know what miraculous thing I thought would happen to me on vacation, but I had a lot riding on it. Before I could get there though, I had to come to terms with never having the chance to see Marco face to face at trial. I promise you, had I the chance…I would have crushed him. I would have brought all of my frustration and anger, and that of every woman who never got the chance at justice, with me. I wanted to humiliate him. I hate I didn’t get that chance. I had dreamt of punching him – so damn hard – in his face.
The day before I was to leave on vacation, I spent time with my father walking around Hoboken on a pretty spring day. We settled in the grass at a nearby park for a picnic..and just at that time, I received an email from my attorney notifying me that the official VERDICT had been issued. This is the actual document issued by the Roman Court outlining the resolution to the case (once the courts had time to review – and agree to – the bargain made by Marco with the Prosecutor):
Looking at my verdict gave me the chills. To know that the worst thing that ever happened to me had been discussed and analyzed half a world away by some judges I’d never see left me unnerved. And the fact I couldn’t read it, didn’t help. No sooner had I begun to feel frustrated than my attorney sent along his translation for me. While it was difficult to read how my personal trauma was bargained down like a knickknack at a tag sale, I have bolded my two favorite parts for you..my silver lining:
COURT OF ROME
JUDGE OF THE PRELIMINARY HEARING
REPUBLIC OF ITALY
IN THE NAME OF THE ITALIAN PEOPLE
The Judge, Mrs. Roberta Palmisano,
at the 22nd of April 2010 hearing, pronounced verdict against
Born in Perugia on the XXth of December 1974, not present at this hearing
with elected domicile at the firm of his attorney
Mrs. Elisa Scaroina
in Rome via Ciro Menotti n. 4,
CHARGED OF THE FOLLOWING CRIMES
“art. 609 bis c.p.: because with violence consisted in grabbing Miss Potts Keri Allison’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.
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, Mr Tamburro has hit Miss Potts’ face with a punch, causing her a personal lesion curable in 7 days.
In Rome the 12th of November 2008”.
Potts Keri Allison – formal offended party
– Not present at the hearing –
with her lawyer Mr. Valentino Fracasso
TAMBURRO MARCO, charged of the crimes punished by the articles 609bis, 582, 585 c.p. , according to article 444 c.p.p. has requested to this Judge to apply him the punishment bargained with the Public Prosecutor, and the Public Prosecutor agreed with Mr. Tamburro to qualify Tamburro’s criminal behavior as minor case of sexual assault (art. 609bis 3rd paragraph c.p.)
This Judge after the analysis of the documents concerning the investigation done by the Police and the Public Prosecutor, believes that there are no evidences that can carry to a verdict of absolution, as stated by article 129 c.p.p.
This Judge considers correct the qualification of Tamburro’s behavior as a minor case according to article 609bis c.p.p.; the punishment bargained by the parties and proposed to this Judge is proper, considering the seriousness of the crime inferred by the concrete circumstances of the fact.
This Judge, also, considers that Mr. Tamburro has no previous criminal records, and this constitutes an extenuating circumstance.
So can be applied the punishment – bargained by the parties – of 11 months and 10 days of prison (calculation of the punishment: basic punishment for sexual assault 5 years of prison à reduced to 20 months because the fact has been qualified as minor case, so the punishment can be reduced up to 2/3 à reduced to 13 months and 10 days because he has no criminal records à increased to 17 months because the sexual assault and the lesion caused to the offended party have been expression of the same criminal project, article 81 c.p. àreduced to 11 months and 10 days of prison because he has chosen to define his position with a bargained punishment, which means a reduction of 1/3 of the punishment).
According to article 163 c.p., this Judge, considering that Mr Tamburro has no previous criminal records, believes that Mr. Tamburro will not commit crimes in the future and so concede the benefit consisting in the suspension of this verdict (sentence).
The charged party is sentenced to pay to the civil party the expenses of this trial quantified in
€ 4.815,72 [I’ve presented the note of our, Mr Spagnolo and I, fees].
FOR THESE REASONS
According to article 444 c.p.p. (bargained punishment)
The Judge, considering the requested of the charged party, the agreement reached with the Public Prosecutor, qualified the charge as a minor case of sexual assault (art. 609bis c.p.), applied the extenuating circumstance depending from the absence of previous criminal records and the reduction of 1/3 of the punishment due to the choice to define the proceeding with a bargained punishment,
to Marco Tamburro the punishment of 11 months and 10 days of prison, conceding him the benefit of a suspended verdict.
Sentence the charged party to pay in favour of the formal offended party the expenses of this trial, quantified in Euro 4.815,72.
Rome, 22nd April 2010
Mrs. Roberta Palmisano
In case you missed it, the evidence in the case was such that the Judge determined Marco would not have been absolved of the charges at Trial. VICTORY. And…he was to pay my legal bills. SCORE! I had to look past the fact they called it a “minor” case and treated it as some sort of aberration by an otherwise good man. That was one of those things I just had to swallow down and accept. Marco Tamburro had locked me in a room, taunted and harmed me, terrified me and tried to strip me naked so he could rape me… but because I almost killed myself to get away from him, he got a light sentence. Somehow, me knowing he would have been convicted at trial is what forced him to plea..and that he had to pay from his pocket the lawyers who had held him accountable, was enough. It was just enough for me to see the entire experience as a WIN. You may not agree with it, you might find that hard to accept, but I’ll take it.
I proudly read the verdict to my father and broke down on the last few sentences. I saw tears in his eyes too as he high-fived me. He told me “I knew it..you just hung in there and you did it! I knew you could do it. That’s my daughter! I needed that. I needed to know you’d be alright.!” In that moment, I realized the father who had always viewed me as a rock in the face of crisis, had at some point, begun to doubt my ability to bounce back. The damage had been great, and I had suffered a lot of darkness, and spared him nothing. But now, with the verdict and my joy over it, he was reassured all was right in the world again. He walked away for a bit to gather his thoughts, muttering to himself in the way I have long since come to adore, and I let him be. But I took a photo of him because I always wanted to remember that time between us. It’s my favorite photo ever, and possibly, my favorite memory.