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Court rules sex with girl, 15, wasn’t rape

A 25-year-old man from Dingli was yesterday acquitted of rape but found guilty of defiling a 15-year-old girl.

The two had had a sexual relationship over several months but when she wanted to stop he threatened to kill himself, prompting her father to seek a court order banning him from seeing her.

On November 23, 2008, the girl was visiting her cousin in Rabat when he phoned, asked where she was and turned up minutes later.

He grabbed her by the arm, forced her into his car and lowered her seat to make sure no one would be able to see her. When she asked him where they were going he said Mistra Bay.

Once there, they had sex in his car but she later accused him of rape. The girl insisted she objected but still had sex with him because she was afraid he would not take her home.

Magistrate Audrey Demicoli noted a number of inconsistencies in her evidence, such as the claim that while in the car she could not contact anyone, yet she had sent text messages to her family.

According to reports submitted by court-appointed experts, she had sent an SMS to the defendant after the alleged crime, asking to speak to him.

Messages of an explicit sexual nature she sent to the accused painted a different picture to the scenario she was trying to portray.

Furthermore, a medical expert’s report showed there were no signs of violence on the girl.

Before sentencing the defendant to a two-year term in prison suspended for four years, the magistrate noted the sex was consensual, they had been going out together and that the man used to go to her parents’ home, besides that he was of previous good conduct.

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