Criminal procedure defines the criteria for the intervention of the public apparatus of Law, so it states whether prosecution is started by a Court or at the instance of the interested party. The study of liberal Rules of procedure concerning sexual behaviour reveals a significant dichotomy between the two ways of proceeding, a dichotomy which excludes the criteria of "fama" and "public scandal". Through the analysis of judicial case-studies we can evaluate the relationships between the public and private spheres in new terms. These reflect the liberal antinomies and contradictions in the definition of the relations between the individual, the family and the state, which were already in the views of contemporaries. If "fama" ceases to be a criterion for an intervention of protection and intercession acted by the institutions, it is relevant in the judicial proceeding as the means to assess the moral reliability of the victim and its family.