An Italian woman convicted of throwing acid on her former boyfriend had her baby taken away from her immediately after the prison birth. The legal decision to take the convicted 23-year-old's baby has sparked a public outcry.
According to the Daily Mail, Martina Levato and her 30-year-old partner Alexander Boattcher were sentenced to 14 years in prison for a December 2014 acid attack that left her ex-boyfriend with third degree burns and in danger of losing his eye. Levato, who was pregnant at the time of the attack, gave birth to her son over the weekend.
Prosecutors also claimed during Levato's trial that the former Bocconi University student had also planned to castrate another former boyfriend.
The female prisoner was not permitted to hold her newborn son before he was taken from her on the orders of a Milan prosecutor. The same prosecutor also ordered the start of adoption proceedings, which need to be approved by a family court.
Rai News reported the prosecutor, identified as Marcello Musso, told reporters that he viewed his decision as "a humane act taken out of solidarity with the baby".
"I'm desperate, they have destroyed me," Levato said, according to her attorney Stefano De Cesare. The woman's lawyer said the decision to remove the child from his prison mother so early in his life is not consistent with the precedent of removing babies from drug or alcohol-dependent mothers.
The Daily Mail reported that local Italian media has criticised the move, particularly because the child was not left with his mother, at least temporarily. Before the prosecutor's move, it was expected Levato and her child would be transferred to a special mother-and-baby prison unit.
La Repubblica argued: "Do reasons exist to take a mother's right to hold in her arms the creature she has just brought into the world? Do reasons exist to deprive a child of his right to feel welcomed by she who gave him life. Does a stronger law exist than the law of nature?"