MILAN. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi paid to have sex with an underage Moroccan 13 times at his sprawling villa in a Milan suburb, according to prosecutors.
The prosecutors said this in Milan after closing a probe of three people close to the beleaguered leader. They are accused of arranging for prostitutes to have sex with the 74-year-old billionaire politician.
In an eight-page document, the prosecutors accuse the suspects of exploiting Karima El Mahroug between September 2009, when the Moroccan, whose nickname is Ruby the Heart Stealer, was 16, and May 2010.
El Mahroug says she has never had sex with Berlusconi or worked as a prostitute.
The prosecutors are seeking a trial for Nicole Minetti, a councillor in the northern Lombardy region; Emilio Fede, a news anchor for a television channel owned by Berlusconi; and Lele Mora, a powerful Italian talent agent.
All the three are accused of procuring the sexual services of El Mahroug and 32 other women. They have denied any wrongdoing.
The legal age of consent in Italy is 14 but it is a crime to use the services of a prostitute younger than 18 years of age.
Berlusconi will go on trial in April for having sex with a minor and abusing the power of his office to cover up the alleged crime. If convicted of the two crimes, he could be sentenced to up to 15 years in jail.