Man fights back tears after being charged with sexual misconduct

Man accused of non-consensual sexual act and subjecting a woman to an unwanted act of physical intimacy at the place he worked at, handed three years probation

Court (Photo: James Bianchi/mediatoday)
Court (Photo: James Bianchi/mediatoday)

A man fought back tears in court after he was placed on probation over an incident of sexual misconduct at his workplace.

AG prosecutor Danika Vella and Inspector Kevin Pulis arraigned the 62-year-old man from Msida, accusing him of committing a non-consensual sexual act and subjecting a woman to an unwanted act of physical intimacy on 31 July at the ministry where he worked.

The man's defence lawyers Michael Sciriha and lawyer Paul Gauci Maestre as well as Inspector Pulis asked the court to impose a blanket ban on the publication of the name of the accused, his workplace, as the alleged victim worked there too as well as the place where the alleged assault took place.

This, they told the court, would be “fitting and wise” for the families of both the victim. The court upheld the request.

Inspector Pulis told the court that the police had received a report from a woman, about words or gestures that she felt constituted sexual harassment. The defendant had immediately complied with the police’s subsequent request to go to the police station, added the inspector.

He exhibited a copy of the police report, the arrest warrant issued against the defendant, a copy of his statement and proof of his refusal to seek legal assistance.

The magistrate explained to the defendant what punishment he was facing, potentially as much as seven years in prison.

In spite of this, the defendant, who told the court he worked as a driver at a government department, pleaded guilty.

The magistrate left the courtroom for a few minutes to allow the man to consider his plea. When the magistrate returned, the plea was confirmed.

Making submissions on punishment, lawyer Michael Sciriha made reference to a joint application filed by the prosecution and defence, which recommended the man be placed on probation, telling the court that the man had a spotless criminal record.

The parties jointly suggested three-years probation, which the court eventually upheld.

Magistrate Gatt praised the work done by the prosecutors and defence lawyers. The court explained to the defendant that he would be released on probation for three years.

He stressed that he would have to keep his nose clean or be jailed in default. A restraining order was also imposed, with the court warning him that breaching it would also result in his incarceration as well as a €7,000 fine.