Pervert charged with luring five-year-old girl into his house and sexually assaulting her

An 81-year-old man has been charged with sexually assaulting a five-year-old child while under a probation order for a similar offence

File Photo
File Photo

An 81-year-old man was accused of having sexually assaulted a five-year-old girl after luring her into his house with the promise of a drink.

Carmelo Refalo from Msida, who is already under a probation order for a similar offence, was charged in court on Tuesday by inspectors Kylie Borg and Colin Sheldon, assisted by prosecutor Darlene Grima from the Office of the Attorney General. Refalo appeared before Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit.

The five-year-old girl and her father testified behind closed doors.

Refalo was charged with corruption of a minor under the age of 12, facilitating the corruption of the minor, participating in sexual activities with her, subjecting a vulnerable person to a non-consensual sexual act, and committing a crime whilst already under a probation order for a similar offence.

Although the circumstances of the incident did not emerge in open court today, it is understood that the man had allegedly touched the child’s private parts after inviting her into his house to drink.

Refalo’s defence lawyers, Ludwig Caruana and Janice Borg, entered a plea of not guilty on the man’s behalf.

As the case dealt with the abuse of a minor, and because the victim was due to testify today via videoconferencing, the court ordered the case to continue behind closed doors.

At around 2.30pm, at the end of the hours-long sitting, and in view of the fact that the main prosecution witnesses, the alleged victim and her father, had deposed, the court released Refalo from arrest. His bail was secured by a €5,000 deposit and a €15,000 personal guarantee. He was also ordered to sign a bail book twice a week and surrender his passport and ID card.

The court imposed a ban on the publication of the name of the victim.