A Vatican prosecutor, instead, recalled testimony saying that Martinelli made threats to L.G., promising to grant important roles in papal Masses in exchange for sexual favors.
Roberto Zannotti, the prosecutor, also referenced an Italian supreme court ruling from 1998, insisting on the concept of consent, which he argued could not be present when L.G. was a minor, and was also not present after he turned 18.
“Consent must not be confused with participation in the act,” Zannotti said.
He also defended L.G.’s credibility in response to statements noting that L.G. reported the abuse some time after it allegedly took place.
At a hearing in February, three different former students of the Pius X pre-seminary had testified that there was an unhealthy culture of ridicule and abuse of power while they were there.
The witnesses also alleged that reports of sexual abuse were ignored or dismissed by authority figures, including the cardinal in charge of St. Peter’s Basilica at the time, Cardinal Angelo Comastri.
At another hearing, Fr. Francesco Vicini, a former student at the pre-seminary and now its vice-rector, testified that he had shared a room with L.G. and Martinelli for a year, and for two years in total with L.G.
Vicini claimed that L.G. was not afraid of Martinelli, stating: “I take it for granted that Martinelli did nothing, it seems obvious to me that he never needed to ask for clarification on rumors that were circulating in the pre-seminary.”
The only trial participant who claimed to be an eyewitness to the alleged abuse was former pre-seminary student Kamil Jarzembowski.
Jarzembowski, who is from Poland, was the first to go to the media about the accusations against Martinelli, which were initially reported by the Italian investigative news program “Le Iene” in 2017.
Jarzembowski testified to the Vatican court in a March hearing that when he was roommates with L.G., he had heard Martinelli come into the room and perform non-consensual sexual actions with L.G. “tens of times.”
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The defense lawyer for the Opera Don Folci asserted on July 16 that Jarzembowski was the “deus ex machina” in the affair, claiming that there were contradictions in his testimony and written accounts of the allegations.
Witnesses also gave conflicting testimony about the character of former pre-seminary rector Radice and his behavior toward students.
Martinelli’s lawyer argued that “no elements were brought in to support the accusation” against his client and “the narrative was shaky from the start.”