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Berlusconi Sentenced to 7 Years in Sex-For-Hire Case

President of the court Giulia Turri (C) reads the sentence for former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi in Milan, June 24, 2013.
A Milan court on Monday sentenced former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to seven years in prison and barred him from public office for life, after he was convicted of paying an underage prostitute for sex with and abusing his office to cover it up.

The 76-year-old politician and media mogul is charged with paying the Moroccan-born woman for sex in 2010, when she was 17-years old, and then calling a police station to press for her release after she was arrested for theft.

The seven-year sentence handed down Monday went beyond the six years requested by prosecutors.

Berlusconi can appeal the verdict twice - a process that could take months.

He is also the target of several other ongoing criminal prosecutions. He was convicted last year for alleged tax fraud involving his mass media company (Mediaset) and sentenced to four years in prison and a five-year ban from public office. Earlier this year, Berlusconi lost an appeal of that ruling, which faces a final appeal.

Prosecutors have also asked that he be put on trial for bribing a rival politician to join his political party.

Berlusoni served as Italy's prime minister three times, starting in 1994 and ending in 2011.