Birżebbuġa youth accused of sex with 13-year-old care home escapee

Accused, 18, also accused of the possession and supplying of cannabis, as well as being a recidivist

File photo
File photo

An 18-year-old man from Birżebbuġa has been remanded in custody after he was arraigned in court on charges of having sex with a 13-year-old girl in Żejtun on Saturday.

The defendant, Luca Agius, was charged with committing acts of a sexual nature on the girl, participating in sexual activities with her and corrupting her with lewd acts. He was also accused of the possession and supplying of cannabis, as well as being a recidivist.

Inspector Joseph Busuttil, who investigated the case together with Inspector Doriette Cuschieri, told Magistrate Joe Mifsud that the charges were the result of a police investigation into a report of a missing girl who had disappeared from the care home where she was residing, spending an entire night away.

He said that it emerged that the defendant had spent the night with some friends in an abandoned house in Żejtun and that he had sex with the girl there, sex to which the girl had consented.

The girl had told her carers about the incident, saying that the accused had tried to have sex with her for a second time, but she had not wanted to and that the defendant had accepted this and stopped.

The inspector added that when the two youngsters had been in each other’s company they had also smoked cannabis, which had been purchased by the accused. He said that the defendant, who is unemployed, had recently been an inmate at Corradino prison.

He is understood to have previously faced similar charges.

Legal aid defence lawyer Brandon Kirk Muscat did not request bail for the defendant at this stage.

Magistrate Mifsud told the defendant that it was “a good time” for him to be remanded in custody at the correctional Facility, as during Holy Week the atmosphere there would allow him to reflect. "Get out of there properly, there is help, such as Caritas, Sedqa and Suriet il Bniedem,” the magistrate told the accused, urging him to make the best of the opportunity.

Lawyers Sean Gabriel Azzopardi and Danika M. Vella from the Attorney General's Office led the Prosecution together with Inspectors Busuttil and Cuschieri.