Trial of man accused of marital rape and abusing daughter ends in acquittal

A man has been acquitted of marital rape and sexually abusing his underage daughter, in a case started on the complaint of his estranged wife

A man has been acquitted of marital rape and sexually abusing his underage daughter, in a case started on the complaint of his estranged wife.

The father of two had been reported to the police Victim Support Unit by the woman as having forced himself upon her and having sexually abused their daughter. He was subsequently charged in court and later indicted for sexual offences and holding the woman against her will.

The couple’s marriage had failed after the wife suspected infidelity, she said, adding that he would subsequently force himself on her on several occasions.

The court candidly observed that it was not its function or competence to examine whose infidelity and neglect had led to the breakup of the family or whether the accused had abandoned his wife and children.

Faced with two diametrically opposed versions of events, the court said it had to examine the credibility of the witnesses.

Under interrogation, the man had consistently denied the allegations, saying that “you’d have to be a pig to have sex with a 12-year-old girl, more so if she’s your daughter.”

The daughter, observed the court, was extremely rebellious and would run away from school and date older men. Her testimony throughout the criminal proceedings against her father was inconsistent, noted the judge.

Of the rape claim, the court saw that the woman was inconsistent on how long a period the rapes happened, first saying six months and then nine.

The judge said it was hard to believe that the sexual acts could have taken place repeatedly, almost every day for a number of months against the will of a party when during the rest of the day, the alleged victim was free to file police reports, as she had done on other issues.

Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera said it was strange how the victim could not explain why the abuse had stopped or how the man who was having sex with his wife repeatedly for months on end could have been seeing other women.

More inconsistencies were noted in the way the woman would ask her husband to take STD tests with the aim of accepting him back into the matrimonial home and how she said he would not give her any money and would rape her, yet still wanted to save the marriage.

There was no doubt that the woman had gone through a great deal of psychological trauma because of the separation, but this did not mean that the court should find the accused guilty, observed the judge.

After examining the facts of the case in detail, as well as taking into account the teachings of leading scholars, the court handed down judgment this morning and acquitted the man of all charges, ordering his immediate release.