Italy's Supreme Court rules public masturbation is not a crime

The country's highest court made the ruling in relation to a case involving a 69 year old man

Italy's Supreme Court rules public masturbation is not a crime


Back in May 2015, a 69-year-old Italian man known only as "PL" was sentenced to three months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of €3,200.

The punishment was given to the man after he was caught masturbating in Catania, a city on Sicily's east coast, having performed the act in front of students on the University of Catania campus.

However, the defendant's lawyer took the case all the way to the country's highest court, which ruled in favour of the accused, after a recent iteration of the criminal code stated that public masturbation out of the presence of minors is no longer deemed criminal conduct.

CNN reports that the case is now being returned to local courts in Catania where the administrative fine - between €5,000 and €30,000 - will be set.

In Ireland, public masturbation would fall under Section 18 of the Criminal Law, in which "any person who commits, in public, any act in such a way as to offend modesty or cause scandal or injure the morals of the community shall be guilty. [...] The person may receive a fine of up to €634.87 or, if the court decides, they may be sent to prison for up to six months.2