Facebook helps in Italian sex-abuse case

Social network grants access to servers in aid to police

Facebook helps in Italian sex-abuse case

Milan, April 23 - Facebook on Tuesday granted access to its servers in California to Italian authorities seeking to trace correspondence between an adult male accused of sexually abusing young girls he met via the world's largest social network and his underage victims. Facebook granted access following reception of a letter of request from Andrea Salemme, the Milan preliminary hearing judge following the case, delivered via Italy's foreign ministry to US judicial authorities and to the US Embassy in Rome. According to judicial sources, this marks the first time Facebook has granted access to its central servers in California in order to recover the content of its customers' chats. On March 20, 50-year-old Gianluca Mascherpa, a girls' volleyball coach, was sentenced to 11 years and four months in jail for having used a false nickname on Facebook to carry out "virtual relationships" with minors and in some cases convincing them to undress and perform sexual acts in front of a webcam.

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