Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Sentenced to 7 Years for Underage Sex Scandal
It looks like Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi may finally face the music, as his high-profile underage-prostitution-and-abuse-of-power trial comes to a close.
On Monday, the 76-year-old was sentenced to seven years in prison, and banned from holding public office for life. The court found that Berlusconi paid the underage erotic dancer Karima el-Mahroug (a.k.a. "Ruby the Heartbreaker") for sex—and then using his position of power to cover up the case.
The so-called "Rubygate" scandal emerged after a series of revelations in 2010 brought Berlusconi's bizarre sex life to the surface. In case you haven't heard, (or mentally blocked out the image), turns out Berlusconi regularly held these "Bunga Bunga" parties—which were an ongoing series of underwater orgies reportedly adapted from none other than the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Berlusconi is no stranger to legal woes. In the past year alone, the former Prime Minister has already faced convictions for tax evasion and wire-tapping scandals, both of which he is expected to appeal. Though he hasn't held office since the end of his third term in 2011, Berlusconi has remained an influential figure in the coalition government instated following the inconclusive 2013 elections.
Still, it may not be time to say arrivederci to Berlusconi just yet. Italy's justice system still allows two more rounds of appeals before the verdict is finalized, and with this guy's track record of wriggling his way out of scandals, we won't be surprised if he manages to get out of even this one.