One night stand leads to rape claim, robbery

A woman, 22, allegedly falsely claimed to have been raped by a man after robbing him of €1500 in cash

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
22 September 2017, 3:00pm
The woman was charged with knowingly filing a false report, swearing false oath, stimulating an offence and aggravated theft.
The woman was charged with knowingly filing a false report, swearing false oath, stimulating an offence and aggravated theft.
A young mother, who allegedly falsely claimed to have been raped by a man after having robbed him of €1500 in cash, has been arraigned on charges which include filing a malicious police report, perjury and aggravated theft.

The 22-year-old catering worker from Birkirkara appeared in the dock before magistrate Monica Vella, this afternoon.

Inspector Joseph Busuttil told the court that the woman had spent a night on the town with the victim and had gone home with him, where the pair had a consensual one-off sexual encounter. After stealing the man’s cash, the accused filed a police report against him, claiming to have been raped.

He charged the woman with knowingly filing a false report about her victim, swearing a false oath, simulating an offence and aggravated theft.

Defence lawyer Noel Cutajar asked the court to ban the publication of her name by news media outlets. Inspector Busuttil objected, arguing that this measure was normally used to protect victims or children, which did not apply to this case as the victim is unrelated to her and no children were involved in the crime.

“The other party is an adult and has no connection to the accused which could lead to his identification. It was a one night stand.”

The court, however, upheld the request for a media blackout on the grounds that the woman is the mother of an 18-month-old child.

A not guilty plea was filed and the defence asked for bail, arguing that there was no risk of contamination of any evidence because the only witnesses were police and court experts.

“She is also a mother and has a baby to care for. I don’t think it is the case that, on the strength of a third party’s allegation, she should be remanded in custody.”

Busuttil said that there were a number of witnesses and family members who are yet to testify. He also pointed out that the woman’s initial sworn statements had been contradictory, which meant that she had taken at least one false oath. “Nowhere in the law does it say that you are owed bail simply because you have a son,” submitted the inspector.

The court explained the gravity of the charges to the woman. “Perjury carries with it prison time and so does making a false accusation...these are serious crimes, they aren’t charges that you can just pay €20 and be done with them.”

However, the court opted to release the woman from arrest, granting bail against a deposit of €1000 and personal guarantee of €10,000. Her freedom was also subject to the condition that she deposit her ID card in court, that she does not attempt to make contact with any of the witnesses and that she signs a bail book twice a week. She was also ordered to obey a curfew.

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Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...