On Nov. 24, she filed a complaint that alleged that in 2015, during a business meeting in Mr. Tavecchio’s office, he complimented the then 49-year-old on her physique and sought to kiss her while touching her breasts. She excused herself and left the room, her lawyer said.
The next year, ahead of another meeting with Mr. Tavecchio she consulted police officers with whom she was acquainted and, pretending to speak for a friend, asked what advice they would have for a woman seeking to demonstrate that a boss harassed and groped her behind closed doors. She did not name Mr. Tavecchio at the time, Mr. Mariani said.
The officers suggested she get video evidence catching her superior in the act.
Mr. Cortani returned to the office in August 2016 to speak with Mr. Tavecchio about a team’s application to a regional championship. This time she brought a miniature video camera fasted to a pair of glasses that she hung from the neckline of her dress, Mr. Mariani said.
The camera recorded Mr. Tavecchio speaking in a vulgar manner and inquiring about her sexual activity, until he unknowingly stopped the video recording while allegedly trying to grope her.
“Touching her breasts, he shut off the camera,” said Mr. Mariani, who said that the device continued to record audio, and that Ms. Cortani could be heard fending off Mr. Tavecchio’s advances and slipping away.
The prosecutors made a motion to dismiss the case, Mr. Mariani said, because his client reported it too long after the harassment allegedly occurred.
He said that Italian law gives private citizens six months to report sexual harassment, but that people harassed by a public official, which he contends that Mr. Tavecchio was because of his connection to the Italian National Olympic Committee, are vulnerable to litigation for up to six years. In the weeks ahead, a judge will rule on this and several other legal questions.