No sexual harassment charge for 'immature' Italy boss: court

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A 65-year-old boss in Italy has been cleared of sexual harassment because he was "immature". Photo: Joe Gratz/Flickr
16:04 CET+01:00
A court in Palermo has ruled a 65-year-old boss who allegedly groped two female colleagues was not guilty of sexual harassment but merely "immature".

Domenico Lipari, a former manager at of Palermo's inland revenue authority, was accused of assaulting the two women in his office, La Stampa reported.

Lipari allegedly gave one of the woman a light pat on her buttocks and was accused of touching a button on the other woman's blouse, close to her breast. On another occasion, he is alleged to have lightly touched the same woman in her genital area.

But the Palermo court, overseen by magistrates Bruno Fasciana and Annalisa Tesoriere, decided Lipari's behaviour didn't warrant sexual harassment.

The ruling was made late last November, but court papers released on Tuesday revealed the court's curious motive behind the not guilty verdict.

Lipari was an immature joker and not a lurid pervert, the court ruled.

“It was clearly done in an inappropriate, ill-timed and joking manner,” the court's verdict stated. “It was a thinly-veiled attempt to impose a hierarchy inside the office.”

The court went on to say that while the women were deemed to be telling the truth about being touched inappropriately, the man's joking manner meant it did not warrant any kind of sexual harassment charge.

“You can't merely refer to anatomical parts assaulted and the intensity of each physical contact: it is important to understand the complete context.

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“The behaviour of Lipari did not display any lust nor appear to be undertaken to satisfy any sexual impulse.”

The prosecution team is thought to be considering appealing the court's verdict. 

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