Berlusconi Sentenced to Seven Years in Jail on Sex Charges

Created: 2013-06-25 01:33 EST

Category: World

A Milan court sentenced former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on Monday to seven years in jail... banning him from public office after finding him guilty of paying for sex with a minor and trying to cover up the affair.

Berlusconi's attorney Niccolo Ghedini says he will appeal.

[Niccolo Ghedini, Berlusconi Attorney]:  
"The verdict does not surprise me at all. It is two and half years we've been saying that we can't hold this trial here in Milan. They didn't just go beyond what the prosecution was asking, they even went beyond the charges of forcing rather than pushing."

Berlusconi was found guilty of paying for sex with former teenaged night-club dancer Karima El Mahroug, better known under her stage name "Ruby the Heartstealer", during the now notorious "bunga bunga" sex parties at his home near Milan.

A panel of three female judges also found the 76-year-old guilty of abuse of office by arranging to have her released from police custody when she was detained in a separate theft case.

Outside the courthouse, many residents said justice was served.

"I am very happy with the way things went."

Berlusconi will not have to serve any jail time unless the sentence is confirmed on appeal.