Italy: Berlusconi scandal deepens

By the Associated Press | September 16, 2011 | 8:00 AM EDT

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi reacts prior to the start of a voting session in Parliament on the Government's austerity package in Rome, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011. Demonstrators, some armed with smoke bombs, clashed with police in Rome near Parliament on Wednesday night as Italian lawmakers prepared to cast a final vote on a package of new taxes and spending cuts designed to fend off a financial crisis threatening much of Europe. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

ROME (AP) — Prosecutors say an Italian businessman recruited about 30 girls to attend parties at Premier Silvio Berlusconi's homes, selecting them for their looks and age and paying some of them to have sex with the Italian leader.

They allege that between Sept. 2008 and May 2009 Gianpaolo Tarantini recruited women of "young age, slender frame," and told them what to wear and how to behave at the parties, according to a newly filed court document.

The prosecutors have now wrapped up their investigation into Tarantini's activities.

Berlusconi is not under investigation in the case. But the revelations are proving a further embarrassment for the scandal-plagued leader.

"Italy deserves better," La Stampa newspaper said in an editorial Friday.