He would have first kissed her on the cheeks and then touched her private parts, taking advantage of the fact that the little girl – just 7 years old – was alone, in a small room in the school, to make a photocopy requested by his teacher. Arrests were made on charges of aggravated sexual assault house arrest for a 60-year-old school worker originally from the province of Reggio Calabria, in service at a state comprehensive school in the area. The measure was carried out by the Carabinieri of Cinquefrondi, on the orders of the Court of Palmi which examined the little girl’s declarations, made in the presence of a psychologist appointed by the Palmi Prosecutor’s Office. The little girl, upon returning home, confided in her mother: the investigations, coordinated by prosecutor Emanuele Crescenti, led to the activation of the ‘red code’, allowing the girl’s genuine testimony to be collected in a few days.
Cases of sexual abuse on the rise
«A seven-year-old girl can sexually stimulate only a sick mind and, unfortunately, we are aware that even younger children are focused on the morbid attention of pedophiles. These individuals must be treated, but since child abuse is to be considered among the most vile crimes against humanity, they must be condemned without parole of any kind”: this is what the sociologist Antonio Marziale, Guarantor for Childhood and Adolescence of the Calabria Region, declarescommenting on the arrest of a school worker, issued by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Palmi.
«Without prejudice to the presumption of innocence for the suspect – continues the Guarantor – it is disconcerting that everything could have happened at school, where children should find protection and non-violence. The most recent data inform us that sexual abuse of minors at school increased by 19% in the first half of 2022 alone, from 1,838 cases in January-June 2021 to 2,196 in January-June 2022. I fear that the 2023 data do not differ a lot.”
For Marziale: «It is necessary for schools to raise the level of security, which is evidently not sufficient at present. I plan meetings with specialists involving all school staff and do not underestimate any behavioral “oddities” of anyone, because the ogre hides behind disguise, deceiving the interlocutors with techniques of respectability. Just as – concludes the Guarantor – it would be better if children were always accompanied on errands. I understand that it can be annoying to even imagine that that person could commit abuse, but the data speaks clearly and this requires greater attention”