A sexual harassment complaint against one of the most powerful men in Italian football was reportedly dropped after the prosecutors decided the alleged victim was “too old” to be intimidated or scared.
In November 2017, Italian soccer executive Elisabetta Cortani accused the former head of the Italian soccer federation, Carlo Tavecchio, of groping and attempting to kiss her in his office. She alleged the incident first took place in 2015, when he was still her boss.
According to the Guardian, Cortani then used a hidden camera to film another encounter with Tavecchio where he allegedly repeated his past actions and attempted to sexually abuse her. However, despite the evidence, prosecutors refused to press charges against Tavecchio because they believe the complaint was filed too late, Cortani knew him too well and was old enough to not be afraid of her alleged harasser – because it doesn’t really matter the said man was her direct superior and perhaps one of the most influential men in the country, does it?
“Maybe I am old for them,” Cortani later said in an interview, according to The New York Times. “But I can assure you that I felt in a position of subordination, I felt afraid. Because being in that room meant being in the heart of Italian soccer. And in that room, subordination and fear have no age.”
It is important to mention Cortani is 53-years-old while Tavecchio, who stepped down from his position after Italy lost the World Cup last year, is 74-years-old.
Her lawyer, Domenico Mariani reportedly filed an objection to the dismissal of the case.
“Unfortunately, that’s what happened,” he explained, adding the Roman prosecutors declared was harassment claim was “incompatible” because of her client’s age.
Meanwhile, Tavecchio has denied any allegations against him.
At a time when #MeToo and “Time’s Up” movements are encouraging women across the world to take a stand against their harassers and abusers in order to expose the magnitude of this epidemic, Italy’s response to the whole thing has been rather unsatisfactory.
As The Local reported earlier this year, nearly half of Italian women have experienced sexual harassment, yet, when Italian actress Asia Argento became one of the first celebrities to accuse disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, she was widely slammed in her home country, with Italians comparing her to a prostitute, according to the NPR.
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