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Italian Judge Adjourns Berlusconi Sex Trial Until Late May

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gestures during a press conference, April 4, 2011

An Italian judge has adjourned the trial of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on charges of paying for sex with an underage prostitute until May 31.

The ruling came not long after the opening of proceedings Wednesday in Milan.

Berlusconi also faces charges of using his influence to cover up the incident.

Prosecutors say Berlusconi paid a 17-year-old Moroccan girl known as Ruby for sex at his villa. They say he later tried to have her released from police custody when she was arrested for theft out of concern she would reveal their relationship.

The prime minister has denied the accusations. Prostitution is legal in Italy, but not for women younger than 18.

Neither Berlusconi nor the woman at the center of the case were in court Wednesday.