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Abused man had sex with 14-year-old girl

A man who was abused as a boy was yesterday given a suspended jail term after admitting to having consensual sex with a 14-year-old girl he met on an internet chat website.

The 32-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted to defiling the girl and offending public morals when they had sexual intercourse in his car in Ħal Far in the summer of 2006.

He had originally also been accused of rape but, due to lack of evidence, the charge was withdrawn by the Attorney General.

The girl testified that she got to know the man via a chat website and later exchanged e-mail addresses to be able to chat privately on MSN. They sent each other pictures and joked about sexual matters. She revealed that she had already had sexual experiences and he told her that he was 19.

The girl said that they had decided to meet. He had picked her up and driven to Ħal Far where they spoke and engaged in sexual acts.

She claimed that she unsuccessfully tried to stop him from having intercourse with her.

When they were due to meet on a third occasion she came forward and told a guidance teacher about what happened.

At first, she told the teacher he had forced her to meet again, threatening that if she refused he would circulate a picture of her that had been edited to show her in a compromising situation.

This was proven to be false in court and the girl later admitted that she came forward only because she thought she was pregnant and feared her parents’ reaction.

The man said in court that he had been abused by a helper when he was an altar boy, adding that his father was violent and physically abusive towards him. His father exercised excessive discipline even when he was 30 years old.

Magistrate Audrey Demicoli noted that forensic psychologist Kevin Sammut Henwood had said that the likeliness of reoffending was minimal and that the man needed constant help to cope with what had happened to him.

The magistrate said immediate custody was not ideal and so imposed a two-year jail term suspended for four years.

She also placed him under a protection order for two years.

Lawyer Stefano Filletti appeared for the man.

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