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No hands, no foul in Italy phone-sex case

Sept. 1, 2012 at 2:52 PM

ROME, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Phone sex is all talk and doesn't constitute an act of prostitution, an Italian court has ruled.

The Italian supreme court Friday overturned a lower court conviction of a Milan man who had paid a woman to talk dirty to him over the telephone.

The man had been convicted of sexual exploitation, but the high court ruled no crime had been committed since the man and the woman had no physical contact.

"Verbally servicing an interlocutor for the purpose of sexual excitement does not constitute a sexual service, if it does not involve the bodily erogenous zones of the person who is getting paid for such a service," the criminal court ruled.

Italy's ANSA news service said the court reminded the parties there is a fine line in the case and Italian law says prostitution "may well be carried out via telephone or Internet Web chats" if the customer requests the vendor to perform a specific sex act.

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