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Man charged with raping girl who sought refuge at his home

Accused admits to sexual activity but denies it was rape

A man gave more than shelter to an underage girl thrown out from her family home when he allegedly forced himself upon her after the two had been out for a drink after attending Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve in 2014.

Wearing a skimpy pair of shorts, a summer shirt and barefoot, his flip-flops lying under the bench, the 62-year old unemployed man listened as inspector Joseph Busuttil from the Vice Squad revealed the circumstances which led to the man’s arrest earlier on today.

The court heard how the underage victim had allegedly sought refuge at the man’s house after having been thrown out by her mother.

Following the first instance of sexual violence on Christmas Eve, the girl had remained at her aggressor’s house since she had nowhere else to go. Other episodes of sexual activity followed.

The court heard how the girl had occasionally also invited other friends to the man's home and these would perform some household chores in return for food and shelter.

Upon being served with an arrest warrant earlier today, the man had allegedly admitted to the sexual activity with the minor but denied that it was rape, insisting that it had been consensual.

After pleading not guilty to charges of rape, violent indecent assault and sexual activity with a minor whom he held against her will, the man made no request for bail.

His defence lawyer pointed out that the alleged sexual offender had a mental condition and was even on medication. For this reason, she requested the court to appoint a psychiatrist to examine the accused and report upon his mental health.

This suggestion was agreed to by the prosecution and upheld by the court who appointed a psychiatrist to report whether there existed a state of insanity at the time when the alleged wrongdoing was committed and whether that state subsisted today.

The court, presided over by magistrate Aaron Bugeja, remanded the man in custody with recommendations to be detained at the forensic unit.

Inspector Joseph Busuttil prosecuted. Lawyer Leontine Calleja was legal aid.

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