Italian football coach accused of abusing minors ‘was reality TV host’

Controversial sports coach, accused of sexually abusing and raping teenagers on island, used to host reality TV show

The soccer coach accused of sexually abusing and raping teenagers on Sicily has been exposed as a reality TV star and debonair host who not only courted scandal during a three-year career as a player, but appears to have courted the sort of publicity that is seen as an invitation to rape, an Italian newspaper says.

Vittorio Pinca, known to his clients as Federico Alba, is due to stand trial next month for abusing the 12 teenagers at his judo training ground on the island of Sicily. But instead of hiding from the media, Pinca wrote the book, Faces and Nightmares, about the experience and appeared on Italian television to talk about it, the Corriere della Sera reported on Sunday.

Pinca started to train young boys in a judo course run by the priest who has been accused of molesting 15 boys, including some of the teenagers at the training ground. One boy was killed by a train.

While at the camp, Pinca became infatuated with one boy, Gillian, and broke up with his wife, who still lived in the same house, the paper said.

In the book, he says he has become the victim of a “harem” made up of “gay and lesbian” lawyers, investigators and journalists seeking revenge.

In his sentencing remarks, the prosecutor suggested that more alleged victims could come forward because their identities had been withheld, but the only allegation in the book that seems to fall under the law could be a blackmail claim by a lawyer against Pinca.

Under Italian law, preying on boys under the age of 18 is a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

During a regular newspaper column in 2005, Pinca paid tribute to the “natural qualities” and qualities of his victims.

“They are strong, modern people, having the maturity, essential qualities for a superstar footballer,” he wrote. “Like me, they make enemies, get a type of evil reflection, but they don’t give up.”

At the start of his career with a top-flight team in Naples, Pinca was involved in a confrontation with police because he was smoking a cigarette on the bus from the training ground.

Pinca seemed used to winning the sympathy of journalists, the paper said.

“He is responsible for not only sharing a room with boys while they did their half-hour judo training, but he also convinced many journalists to get his legal advice. And sometimes to forget about the right reasons,” the Corriere wrote.

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