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Fourteen-year-old videotapes her aggressor after seeing TV plea by another victim to turn in abusers.


MILAN – First he became the mother's lover then he started to abuse her daughter, a nine-year-old child who endured his violent advances until she was 14-years-old. It's an all too common story of pedophilia but for the fact that the young victim had a plan. After seeing a report of a case similar to hers on a popular undercover journalism show, and learning that her aggressor had set his sights on another child, the young girl decided to set a trap. She arranged one final appointment with the man and filmed his actions with her mobile phone.

The next day she went to the police and filed charges, offering irrefutable video evidence. The man, aged 61, was arrested and eventually sentenced this month to eight years in prison.

The story started in 2006, after the perpetrator began dating the mother. He wasn't content with this relationship alone and soon cast his eyes on her young daughter, named in court documents only as S., who had only just turned nine.

Playing on the mother's trust, the man was able to spend time alone with the child, abusing her and ordering her to keep quiet. The young girl endured the abuse for five years, unconsciously part of a sick game in which the man was "an ogre", "family friend" and her mother's lover at the same time.

But the game changed last year, when the child saw a report about pedophilia on the popular Italian investigative journalism show "Le Iene" (The Hyenas), which uses hidden cameras to nab wrongdoers. It featured a young girl who decided to set-up her aggressor, and publicly denounce him to his face on camera. It was a gripping item in which the protagonist called on other victims to denounce their abusers, and not to remain silent.

This appeal shook S. She started to talk about what had happened to her, first with her friends, then her teacher and then her parents – her mother had in the meantime broken off her relationship with the man. They asked her not to see the man again.

But S. was determined to free herself of the nightmare. To this end, she decided to subject herself to one last appointment with the man. This time, she went with her mobile phone secretly switched onto video mode and filmed everything: the approaches, the abuse and most importantly the face of her tormentor.

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