Lawyer: Knox's dad invites Italian to visit family

AP News
Posted: Oct 07, 2011 9:49 AM
Lawyer: Knox's dad invites Italian to visit family

Amanda Knox's former boyfriend, who was acquitted along with her of the murder of a British student, has been invited to visit the American's family in Seattle, a lawyer for the young man said Friday.

Luca Maori, who defended Raffaele Sollecito in the appeals trial, told The Associated Press in Rome in a telephone interview that Curt Knox, father of 24-year-old Amanda, invited Sollecito and his family to come to the U.S. city, and that his client would eventually take up the offer.

"But now, Raffaele needs to get back on his feet and resume a normal life," Maori said. "He's afraid to go out" of his family home in southern Italy.

Sollecito, now 27, had just begun dating Knox, a former University of Washington student, in Perugia in fall 2007 when the woman's roommate, Meredith Kercher, was stabbed to death. The three were all students in the Umbrian university town. Like Knox, Sollecito steadfastly denied all wrongdoing.

Until a Perugia appeals court acquitted him Monday night, he had been serving a 25-year sentence meted out in 2009 by a lower court. Knox had been serving a 26-year sentence until the acquittal set her free.

Sollecito will probably go to Seattle, Knox's home town, "by the end of the year," Maori said. When asked if he might go for the Christmas holidays, the lawyer indicated it was too soon for detailed plans.

"Raffaele is still quite shaken," Maori said. Sollecito spends his time "reading. He doesn't watch TV."

Besides receiving old friends, Sollecito is "eating a lot of fish," Maori said. The Sollecito family home is near the Adriatic Sea in Puglia, the southeastern region renowned for fresh fish.

"In jail, he just got canned tuna," the lawyer said.

The day after the acquittals, Knox flew with her family back to Seattle. Unlike Knox, whose imprisonment drew heavy media coverage, Sollecito's plight was largely ignored by the press. Even the Italian media focused more on her than him.

During the trial, prosecutors depicted him as a "dog on a leash," helplessly influenced by Knox, whom he had been dating only six days when they became the main suspects in the murder.

During their two trials, Sollecito would often look over to Knox as if trying to catch her eye, and the two sometimes exchanged smiles.