A new candidate for Awkward! shuffled forward this week out of a court room in Sicily. From the minute you hear Sicily and 'courtroom' you know you gotta perk those ears up because you just know it's going to be juicy.
Well, I think it's more juicy as in moist. See? Got you feeling just the right kind of awkward now. Let's proceed.
Story goes a little something like this. A 69(!) year old man in the greater Catania area apparently just felt the need to throw a bit of caution to the wind and to, erm, give himself a little bit of pleasure in front of a group of teenage girls who are students at the university.
He was initially arrested for indecent exposure, but just this week had the charge overturned as the judge has ruled that it (i.e. the act of masturbating in public) is not a criminal offence. You see, in Italy, law is basically divided into two camps: criminal and civil. He'll be fined a few thousand euro for taking the liberty onto himself in front of others, but no criminal act will be entered onto his record. Which means, due to a change in the criminal code, masturbating in public is now technically not a penal crime.
So for you perves who want to get it on by yourselves outdoors and in front of Italy's greatest landmarks, the judge has basically paved the way for you to do it.
To avoid a fine, you might want to content yourself with just being out in the open air though, and not bother trying to get yourself an audience as it sounds like the law's interpretation is less about exhibitionism and more about the right to, erm, derive satisfaction in the open air.
Original report in Italian here, translated in English here.