December 12, 2013 12:45 pm -

The girl, from  Catanzaro, Italy, was from a disadvantaged family and in the care of the 60-year-old man who works in the town’s social services department. The Supreme Court there (pictured) determined it was a “romantic relationship.”

Police discovered the pair in bed during a raid on his seaside villa. He was given a five-year sentence for sexual violence against a minor. The age of consent is 14. It rises to 16 where one of the partners is in a position of authority or care over the younger party.

But the court has quashed the original sentence due to extenuating circumstances – the girl has reportedly professed to be in love with the defendant, and the court has found the pair have a “romantic relationship”. The case has been sent back to the Catanzaro court for a retrial. Court cases in Italy are normally subject to several levels of appeal before a sentence is confirmed.