Man accused of the rape and defilement of his stepdaughters, aged eight and 10

A 44-year-old man has been remanded in custody after being charged with the rape and defilement of his partner’s two daughters, who are just eight and 10-years-old

A 44-year-old man has been remanded in custody after being charged with rape and defilement of his partner’s 10 year-old daughter and the defilement of her 8 year-old sister-old.

The accused, a Syrian-born resident at Santa Lucia, works as a plasterer, the court was told. He pleaded not guilty to charges of rape, defilement of minors and participation in sexual activities with minors.

Police Inspector Joseph Busuttil, who is prosecuting together with prosecutor Darlene Grima from the Office of the Attorney General, explained to magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras how early yesterday morning, the birth father of the alleged victims had gone in person to the Police Headquarters after his daughters had informed him of the abuse.

The father had visibly been in a state of shock, said the inspector. He had told the inspector that that same day, he had asked his 10-year-old daughter not to get dressed in front of him and her siblings. “The girl replied that her mother’s new partner had groped her and had penetrated her with his fingers,” testified the inspector.

This account had been corroborated by the younger sister, who when questioned, had told the inspector that similar things had also happened to her.

Inspector Busuttil stated that he had later also spoken to the girls, in the presence of their father. “The girls were very fidgety and unhappy, but they explained what happened. At one point, the father burst into tears and left the room.”

The girls’ parents had been separated for the past two years but were on good terms, he said. The police had also questioned the girls’ mother, who confirmed that her elder daughter had told her about the abuse some two or three weeks ago, but said that she hadn’t believed her.

Police had also questioned the accused, who had arrived at the police headquarters together with the girls’ mother. “He claimed that he didn’t know the girls and had then exercised his right to silence when asked about the specific allegations,” said the inspector.

Bail was not requested at this stage.

Lawyer Mario Mifsud was defence counsel.