A 31-serviceman arrested for the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl in Rome claimed on Wednesday he had "consensual" sex with the teen, according to sources at Rome's criminal court.
The 31-year-old serviceman, Giuseppe Franco, from the southern Italian city of Cosenza, was arrested after being caught on security cameras in shops and identified by witnesses and his alleged victim.
"They did a good job and worked quickly. The evidence against him is significant," said Rome Police Chief Nicolo D'Angelo.
Forensic analysis was also being carried out on clothes worn by the teen and by Franco, while his brother faces charges of abetting.
A judge will decide whether to keep Franco in custody at a hearing in the next 48 hours.
Franco, who worked for the defence ministry in a navy department, allegedly raped the girl late on Monday in Rome's upscale Prati district where the defence ministry is located.
The defence ministry confirmed on Wednesday that following his arrest they "immediately suspended" Franco from his position.
Franco posed as a policeman and told the teen he would have to fine her for underage drinking, after spotting her drinking a beer with friends near the defence ministry.
But instead of taking her to the police station, Franco dragged the girl into a park and raped her, according to investigators.