The pair are now on trial in Sicily after setting up sexual encounters between the girl and their former employer in exchange for “a few hundred euros” at least twice a month, ArticoloTre reported. The court in the nearby town of Caltanissetta heard that the couple had "severe financial problems".
The girl fell pregnant and gave birth to a son, fathered by the 80-year-old, in 2008. The case later came to the attention of the social services, which conducted an investigation, including a DNA test proving the elderly man was the child’s father.
A report by the Italian unit of Ecpat, the international child protection agency, earlier this month found that up to 11,000 children are forced into prostitution in Italy.
The financial crisis is partly to blame, with an increasing number of women, faced with unemployment, turning to sex work, both on the street and online.
A woman and her daughter, from Rimini, reportedly became prostitutes in a bid to support their struggling family.
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Meanwhile, five people were arrested in Rome in late October in connection with a prostitution ring that involved two girls aged 14 and 15. The mother of one of the girl's was also arrested for pimping her daughter.