A Cartagena judge found Italian Paolo Pravisani guilty of solicitation of prostitution, possession of child pornography and sex with a minor, making him the first foreign pedophile sentenced in Colombia.
The judge ruled that Pravisani must “be imprisoned in the Ternera jail, in Cartagena, and once he has completed the sentence, will be expelled from Colombia.” The length of Pravisani’s sentence will be set with a month, and could be between nine and eighteen years in prison.
The Italian was arrested in March of 2009, after a 14-year-old boy died in his apartment on February 23, 2009, of a cocaine overdose. Following his arrest, a police investigation turned up numerous pornographic photos involving minors.
In June a Swiss NGO complained about the numerous delays in Pravisani’s trial and said it would demand international intervention if the Italian were not brought to justice soon.
The trial of Pravisani has been postponed a total of six times for a number of reasons – most recently due to the absence of a key witness who supposedly provided Pravisani with underage prostitutes.
A lawyer for family members of the deceased minor complained that the whole process was “becoming a circus,” and that the defense was abusing the legal system to prolong the process and avoid justice.
For over a year, Pravisani’s lawyers effectively kept the trial from starting on medical grounds.