Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi faces seven years in jail.

A Milan court found the billionaire guilty of paying for sex with a then 17-year-old dancer known as 'Ruby the Heartstealer' who attended infamous 'bunga bunga' parties at his villa.

(UPSOUND RULING)

The three judges found Berlusoni also used his influence in an attempt to cover up the liaison.. when Ruby was arrested on a shoplifting charge.

Berlusconi was not in court to hear the verdict, and continues to deny all charges.

His lawyers announced an immediate appeal.

(UPSOUND LAWYER)

If needed, we will go to the highest court, Berlusconi's attorney says... this trial should never have been held.

Outside, a small group of protesters gathered for the verdict...

(UPSOUND ITALIAN)

'Unfortunately Berlusconi treats women as goods to be exchanged,' says this woman.

While the media mogul holds no current office, he continues to wield enormous influence over Italian politics, despite fighting numerous court cases.

If this ruling is upheld, it will ban him from public office for life... ending his two-decade political career.

SIGOUT - The Associated Press

 

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