Italian politician in ‘sex for housing’ scandal

A local politician in central Italy was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly assigning council homes to poor young mothers in exchange for sexual favours.

Italian politician in 'sex for housing' scandal
Ivo D'Agostino was arrested on Tuesday morning for allegedly offering council property in return for sexual favours. Photo: Emanuele/Flickr

Five women – three immigrants and two Italians – have come forward to speak out against their treatment by Ivo D'Agostino, a councillor in the town of Chieti, AbruzzoIvo.

D'Agostino, 51, is also accused of bribery, attempted bribery and sexual violence, newspaper Il Messaggero reported. 

One of the women has reportedly been visiting a psychologist following the incidents, online news site Prima Da Noi said.

The first complaint against the councillor was made on June 6th by a Cuban woman, Prima Da Noi said.

Over the following weeks, Catholic organization Caritas worked with the authorities to compile the testimonies of the Cuban woman and four other women –  from Poland, Romania and two from Italy.

They were all "poor, young mothers and often without work", Prima Da Noi said.

D'Agostino allegedly met the women in council offices and quickly told them his intentions. The advances were made in such a demanding manner "that the victims were certain of what he was proposing", Prima Da Noi reported.

The married father of four has been put under house arrest and denies the allegations.

Umberto Di Primio, the town's mayor, said he had full confidence in the judiciary and hoped that D’Agostino could prove he was not guilty, Il Messaggero reported.

In addition to housing policy, D'Agostino was also in charge of civil protection, health and hygiene, and transport at Chieti council.

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 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

Italian police on Saturday arrested a mafia member suspected of killing two alleged Chinese prostitutes and a Colombian sex worker in Rome, local media reported.

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

The bodies of the two Chinese women were discovered in a residential building in the upmarket Prati district on Thursday morning, while the body of the South American was found in an apartment in the same neighbourhood an hour later.

All three victims were stabbed, according to Italian media reports.

According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, footage from surveillance cameras allowed police to identify 51-year-old Giandavide De Pau, who had been prosecuted in the past for drug trafficking and sexual assault.

The suspect is reportedly a member of a mafia clan headed by Michele Senese, who is currently serving a life sentence. De Pau is believed to have been one of Senese’s closest collaborators, acting as his personal driver and handyman.

In 2008 and 2011, the suspect had also spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

It is unknown whether the suspected killer was carrying out a mafia hit or acting alone, possibly under the influence of drugs, which were found at the home of some family members where he is believed to have sought refuge after the police manhunt got underway, Corriere della Sera reported.

Several newspapers had warned of a possible “serial killer” in the Italian capital.

The body of one of the Chinese victims was spotted by a neighbour where it lay, naked on a landing. The woman, believed to be in her 40s, had suffered head and stomach injuries, the newspaper said.

When police entered her apartment, they found the body of the second Chinese woman.

Nobody in the building appeared to have heard the murders take place, according to residents.

“Everybody knew there was a house of ill repute here, I’d see people arriving at 2:00 am, 3:00 am,” a woman who lived in the building told reporters.

The body of the Colombian, who was 65, was found by a friend, Corriere della Sera said.