Girl, 17, raped and her male friend beaten in eight-hour ordeal

Victim and her male friend allegedly attacked at a nightclub by the defendants, kidnapped and taken to a flat in Sliema, where the girl was allegedly raped by her ex-boyfriend

File photo
File photo

Five men from Belgium have been charged in connection with an alleged rape of an underage girl.

Masuekama Kabangu Dany, 20, Kamangu Lema Lelo Arnaud, 18, Muogo Mukengerwa N’Domba Amani, 20, and two other 17-year-old youths, were arraigned before magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo on Wednesday afternoon.

Inspector Omar Zammit explained what had led to the men’s arrests.

At around 5pm on Monday, the victim -a 17-year-old French girl - and a male friend of hers had gone to the police headquarters to report that the night before, the male friend had been attacked at a popular nightclub destination in Zebbug by the defendants, who then kidnapped them and took them to a flat in Sliema, where the girl was allegedly raped by Dany, who was the victim’s ex-boyfriend. 

The girl’s male companion was then beaten up by the other men, they said.

Inspector testifies

The girl had met her ex-boyfriend, Dany Kabangu, in Sliema and followed him to a Sliema apartment, finding other men and his present girlfriend there. She got angry about being led on and left, blocking him on all social media.

She went to the nightclub between Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July, and noticed Kabangu there together with the other defendants and Kalangu’s present girlfriend.

After drinking heavily, she and her companion had called a taxi at around 4am. While waiting for it, Kabangu had approached her and offered to take her home himself as she was visibly drunk.

In the taxi the men plied her with more alcohol, she told the police. 

After drifting in and out of consciousness, the girl woke up naked with Kabangu having sex with her. He ignored her when she told him to stop. “When she turned her face to try and get up, she noticed that there were more men in the room, who were filming this sexual encounter.”

Inspector Spiteri added that the friend who had been accompanying her, a 16-year-old boy from Switzerland, was filmed being beaten by the defendants despite not offering resistance.

“She explained to us that while she had been talking to Kapangu, she did not know what was happening to her friend. [Her friend] later told us that he was physically attacked by four young men whose identities he did not know and with no provocation. He was forced into the taxi, too, because Kapangu knew that the girl would likely refuse to enter the apartment unless her friend was there too.”

The police had found video evidence of every incident described by the two victims, said the inspector.

He confirmed that the clips showed the boy being beaten over a span of several hours and offering no resistance. “So degrading was this assault that at one point they forced him to pull down his trousers and spanked his bottom, some with their hands and some with a belt.”

The 17-year-old defendant charged with theft, is seen using the boy’s phone and trying to make transactions, including the purchase of a Louis Vuitton bag worth over €2,000, specifying his home address in Belgium for delivery.

The girl was taken to hospital for medical tests.

She told the police that the other men lived with Dany and were planning to leave the islands that day. Unable to find the men at their Sliema flat the police proceeded to intercept the men at the airport at around 7pm when they were planning to catch a flight.

Dany was charged with rape, holding the underage girl against her will, slightly injuring her, forcing her to participate in sexual activities against her will and participation in sexual activity with an underage person in several locations between 1st and 2nd July this year.

He, together with Arnaud, N’Domba Amani and one of the 17 year-olds were further charged with illegal arrest of a male friend of the victim, threatening him with death, as well as grievously injuring him and robbing him. The men were also accused of filming the incident to cause distress to the victim.

That same 17 year old was also charged with stealing a mobile phone belonging to the victim’s friend.

Four of the defendants, who were on holiday in Malta, pleaded not guilty. One 17-year-old, a player with the National Belgian under-18 football team, admitted the charges against him - which exclusively dealt with bodily harm.

The prosecution and defence both agreed that a non-custodial punishment should be imposed in this case.

Police Inspector John Spiteri, leading the prosecution, insisted that the only mitigating factor in this case was the defendant’s age, describing it as one of the most serious cases he had ever encountered. “We cannot send the message that you can come to Malta and assault a minor in a nightclub, unprovoked. A conditional discharge is too light a punishment in this case.”

Lawyer Stefano Filletti disagreed with the prosecution’s depiction of the circumstances, arguing that the defendant was not charged with the most serious crimes of the group and was only accused of attempted grievous bodily harm.

Lawyer Franco Debono submitted that the charges dealt with an attempt, which reduced the punishment by two degrees, which was committed by a minor - which reduced the punishment by a further two degrees.

The court, after taking into consideration the joint submissions, together with the defendant’s age, and early guilty plea, imposed a one-year prison sentence, which was suspended for two years, together with a three-year restraining order.

Lawyers Jose Herrera, Stefano Filletti, Franco Debono, Jason Azzopardi, Gianluca Cappitta and Matthew Xuereb jointly represented the defendants.

Police Inspectors Joseph Spiteri, Omar Zammit and Jonathan Cassar prosecuted, assisted by lawyers Cynthia Tomasuolo and Joseph Camilleri Azarov from the Office of the Attorney General.