Law professor sacked over porn videos

February 8, 2002

A law professor at the University of Camerino in central Italy has been sacked for allegedly making videos of his sexual encounters with female students in his office, writes Paul Bompard.

Ezio Capizzano, 66, a professor of commercial law, is also under investigation by the public prosecutor's office. He is suspected of having used his post, which under Italian law is that of a public official, to obtain sex in exchange for exam passes.

The small medieval university town of Camerino with 7,500 inhabitants, 2,500 of whom are students, is shrouded in shame. "We are aware that this academic committed sexual acts in the university with women who were his students, which he himself has not denied," said Camerino's rector, Ignazio Buti.

"The senate, which had granted him a two-year extension on his reaching the (retirement) age of 65, has withdrawn it and he is no longer one of our lecturers."

Professor Capizzano himself appears anything but humiliated. On entering the prosecutor's office to be questioned he told reporters: "It can happen that it is the students who offer themselves. If a man has the feeling that a woman is willing, should he hold himself back?" The scandal came to light after someone broke into Professor Capizzano's office and stole about 20 cassettes, a bottle of sparkling wine and some tins of anchovies.

A graduate student alleged that Professor Capizzano offered him the equivalent of e8,200 (£5,000) if he could buy back the cassettes from the thief.

Instead, one of the videos was handed to the police. Investigators are now questioning the women who appear in the video, as well as some who obtained high marks in Professor Capizzano's exam and very low marks everywhere else.

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