Leonardo, Julia, Cecilia discussed on Verified



This is verified. I'm your host Natasha del. Toro here's where we are in the story after. Maria returned home to Portugal. She admitted to herself that she'd been drugged and assaulted by her couch. Serving host the Italian cop the Ardo and she managed to track down fourteen other women from all over the world who like her had also been violated by this same guy so Maria formed a secret facebook group where they could talk openly about what had happened and how to. Stop Leonardo the even considered returning to Padoa to try to catch him in the act but instead marine. Her boyfriend decided. They needed some help so they turned to a group of three Italian journalists at European the investigative reporting project Italy now. I want you to get to know them because they play a huge role in the story. Cecilia Giulio and Alexia are all Italians in their thirties. They're hard working. They're passionate and and their own investigative journalists though. None of them plan to be. I'M CECILIA I wanted to be. An archaeologist says looking stories mice Amy's later she wanted to be a painter before turning to journalism then I decided I wanted to be a war reporter so I got picked up by City University in London and while she was in London she met a fellow Italian reporter named Giulio. I met Julia at a team and from there like literally stopped a minute. I am Julia and I never really decided. I wanted to be Jordan analyst journalism. Something that happened to me and even pretty late. I started doing journalism when I was twenty seven in a long backpacker trip six months around South America and when I came back to Italy was too hard to actually find a salary as a journalist so I went to live in London. And that's where he met Julia and and yeah she told you this story. We started doing things together and we didn't start who Julia when Cecilia worked freelance together. On important stories they felt needed attention like stories about illegal waste trafficking that were published in Italian media and they really threw themselves into it days nights and weekends then. We got very lucky. I mean we've got invited to the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Kiev in two thousand eleven. And that's where he ought my training basically from colleagues that were giving me amazing tips and And and stories Kiev. The capital of Ukraine is also. Were Giulio and Cecilia. Met the third member of their reporting team. I saw Malaysia. Well I wanted to journalist But before I wanted to be an archaeology says Chea Like Indiana Jones in this kind of colleges then at University Alaska studied Japanese and Mandarin before she to started freelancing as a journalist and decided. Okay it's time to report about Japan for Italian media and so I did. I started some of Alaska's first stories. Were about the nuclear disaster following Japan's devastating earthquake in twenty eleven and Well remember that time that I was telling to my parents for the first time a I'm going to push him and to cover what happened there and my parents sesame isn't it be dangerous for you. I said No. I have friends who are now covering narcos and others are going to South America and others covering organized crime in South Italy. I'm just going to Fukushima is not that dangerous competitive what other people are doing. That just told me. Isn't it better. If you just change your friends. Instead they tried Alaska was committed to a future as a journalist and she found to like minds and Cecilia and Giulio. The conferencing Kiev was a the cradle. That made eve be start. A we realized that you only talion stare were poor young freelancers without any media backing up and we say like like let's back each other up and that. Sowell over center was born by twenty thirteen. They're center Europe. Was Up and running but it was still pretty new. They had just created a platform for secret tips from the public. And that's when the email from marinas boyfriend arrived explaining what Leonardo had done Maria. And the other women in the facebook group the reporters recognized right away that this story could be huge much bigger than anything they'd taken on before most of us where the very beginning of their career some of us at a little bit more experienced but none of us had worked as a journalist for more than a couple of years seriously. At least so you know. It was a task way beyond what we knew. We could tackle on our own normally so it was a real challenge even from a professional point of view but the reporters were up for that challenge. They knew they wanted to dig in town cover. What Leonardo had done and to try to bring justice to the women who've been wronged by him not just in the media but in a real courtroom and that meant helping them build a judicial case but they also knew they needed help navigating how to do that it was like we cannot do this alone like his quite serious. We need some lawyers when it some support we need to. We weren't trained. I mean we were trained for outer type of reporting. So how do you not? Just how do you deal with US rivers but also how to investigate such a story so we were just facing somebody who you know? Officially it was just a good cop so the reporters turned to lawyer. They knew Julia's cousin. Gianmarco talion Sour. We always resort to family when in doubt so he was the only lower knaw that I could trust and that would ask us for money. Straight ahead like he would at least give us some sound advice before anything outs. Gianmarco was an experienced lawyer but he was also someone they knew had no connection to Leonardo and that was important. We were afraid that there could be a system of people that knew each other So we did an all how deep disfiguration if it was just a single cop doing diet or if it was multiple cops or if it was if there were other people involved so it was hard to to find someone that we would be absolutely sure had no connections to that and Demarco it was the only one I could think of. We think of that was surely outside of any possible connection to this guy and that we could trust so they decided to meet up. Julia and Cecilia traveled to John. Marco's home in Milan like it was is living. Room blew so far Big Table. We had a drink and Marvez dinner also cooked by his wife. I remember that over a nightcap. The reporters Phil John Marco in on everything that they knew about Leonardo and the women who claimed he abused them. Gianmarco looked shocked by what they told him. He couldn't believe what we were saying. An amendment were saying D toes and getting into like the stories of each girls showing evidence. He like really turn like. This is incredible. I we have to do something about it. And he was stepping out of being a lawyer too. In that moment I think there was this common sense of acting as citizens but he said we need to act very carefully because Does manage a Cop. Econ just ran there like freelance journalist. And and promise you're going to have this and then how do like we need to be clever about it? The reporters needed to come up with a strategy and fast. We're sitting in his room with DeMarco lawyer. And while we were talking about that we knew that possibly impact of a dino was perpetrating crime. Again I mean that was possibly to and it was a feeling that stayed with us for the months that we kept working on this thing.

Coming up next