Berlusconi convicted in sex-for-hire trial - New York News

Berlusconi convicted in sex-for-hire trial

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By COLLEEN BARRY

Associated Press

MILAN (AP) -- A Milan court has convicted former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi of paying for sex with an under-age prostitute during infamous `'bunga bunga" parties at his villa and then using his influence to try to cover it up.

Berlusconi, 76, was sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from public office for life. The ban on holding office could mean the end of Berlusconi's two-decade political career. However, there are two more levels of appeal before the sentence would become final.

Berlusconi holds no official post in the current Italian government, but remains influential in the uneasy cross-party coalition that emerged after inconclusive February elections.

Both he and the Moroccan woman at the center of the scandal have denied ever having sex.

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