A 53-year-old woman in Italy has been sentenced to one year and four months in prison for mistreating a minor by forcing her 16-year-old daughter to adhere to a strict diet, keeping her weight under 47 kilograms, while constantly telling her she was "ugly and fat."
The verdict was pronounced this week by the Como Tribunal, with a lighter sentence than the two years requested by prosecutors, as reported by Il Gazzettino. The woman's lawyer, Alessandra Colombo Taccani, had sought her acquittal and a milder legal classification. However, Judge Francesca Banfi accepted all the demands of the public prosecutor's office, albeit with a reduced penalty.
During the sentencing, the accused mother was not present in the courtroom, represented only by her husband, who attempted to defend her.
"There was no intention to cause our daughter pain and suffering," he stated.
The case came to light in 2019 when a medical professional noticed that the girl's diet, at the age of 16, was inappropriate.
A report was compiled based on the information gathered and forwarded to the police and subsequently the prosecutor's office.
The investigation revealed that the girl had suffered abuses that impacted her health. The mother had forced her daughter to follow a diet consisting solely of vegetables, depriving her of nutritionally valuable foods necessary for healthy development.
The girl's weight was also strictly monitored, with multiple weigh-ins per day. To coerce her daughter into compliance, the mother continuously called her ugly and fat. Investigators concluded that the minor had been subjected to severe physical and psychological abuses, significantly affecting her overall state.
Despite the legal challenge, the woman's family remained united, largely due to the father's efforts. Throughout the investigation, he defended his wife, claiming her intentions were good and motivated by excessive love. He also mediated the relationship between mother and daughter. A family lawyer commented post-sentencing that the woman did not deserve such a harsh punishment, especially five years after the incident.