Have you been Whatsapp stalked? Italian Courts confirm stalker’s conviction
The Italian Cassation Court sentence N. 47283/2019 declared inadmissible defendant’s appeal against his conviction for sexual violence and persecutory conducts. In such context, the Court has confirmed that Whatsapp messages constitute evidences that shall be freely interpreted by judges.
The Court of Appeal confirms first instance judgement by declaring defendant’s liability for sexual violence and persecutory acts. With a suspended sentence for one year and six months, the defendant shall also compensate the victim of such offences with €30.000.00. In detail, the defendant sent hundreds of harassing and threatening messages to the victim also humiliating her in front her business customers. These aggressive conducts provoke psychological damages inducing the victim to look for a psychiatric assistance.
The Court of Cassation confirmed Court of appeal decision by stating that Whatsapp messages are not photographs but documents according art. 233 Criminal Procedure Code. Moreover, a photography of a message still represent a document and it can be freely interpreted. In addition, the defendant has never disprove harassing messages origins and the messages are characterised by a specific language that clearly demonstrates defendant’ liability. Under these circumstances, the Italian Court of Cassation has confirmed that stalking may take place through Whatsapp messages.