An Italian Court has convicted four illegal immigrants from Africa over the rape and murder of an Italian girl aged just 16 in Rome – with two of them getting the maximum punishment possible of life in jail.
The Italian Third Criminal Court in Rome convicted the four of drug dealing, as well as aggravated sexual assault and murder following the incident that took place in 2018. Two of the men were also convicted of giving the girl drugs so that she would pass out.
All four were living in the country illegally, and the court heard they had been dealing in drugs when they met Desiree Mariottini, 16, and offered her a lethal cocktail of drugs, after which they had then sexually abused her and left her to die.
The body of the teenager was found in October 2018 in an abandoned building that was known to be used by drug dealers near the Main Railway Station in the San Lorenzo District in Rome.
Desiree, who was described as a naive and problematic teenager, left her small hometown and came to Rome looking for adventure.
She had the misfortune to meet the four who then offered her a drugs cocktail that the court heard had been designed by them to cut off her ability to put up any defence while they raped her.
After she was abused, the men had then left her lying there and she later died.
The autopsy showed that she had been the victim of a “violent sexual intercourse” although the cause of death was the drugs that she had been given.
The four men, Alinno Chima from Nigeria, Mamadou Gara and Brian Minthe from Senegal, and a Yusef Salia from Ghana were put to trial in October last year.
Mamadou Gara and Yussef Salia were sentenced to life imprisonment, the maximum sentence possible, while Alinno Chima was sentenced to 27 years and Brian Minthe to 24 years and six months, after the court accepted that they had not been there when the drugs were given to the teenage girl.
As part of the investigation, it was found that the men were living in Italy illegally, which raised heated debate about illegal immigrants in the country.
This case was used to push the anti-migrant political agenda of right-wing leader Matteo Salvini, who was interior minister at the time when the rape and murder occurred.
The case also focused attention on the degradation of some areas of the Italian capital.