Frenchman, 51, sentenced to five months’ jail for Paceville sexual assault on minor

French national Lionel Seux files late admission of guilt but magistrate says he cannot benefit from reduction of sentence

A Frenchman has been jailed for five years and four months after admitting to the sexual abuse of a minor while on holiday in Malta, at a club in Paceville in September 2021.

Lionel Seux, 51, had accompanied the 16-year-old victim to a nightclub’s restroom while out clubbing, where he proceeded to lock the door, remove her clothes, and assault her. It was only the relentless beating on the toilet door by the victim’s friend that had prevented the accused from taking the assault further.

After the prosecution closed its evidence, Seux pleaded guilty to all charges, even after being conceded an opportunity to reconsider his admission.

Seux faced a maximum of nine years’ imprisonment for non-consensual sex acts on a minor and keeping her against her will.

Magistrate Claire Zammit Stafrace said that despite his admission, which took place at a late stage in proceedings after all witnesses had been heard, the accused could not benefit from a full reduction of the sentence such as those who submit an early declaration of guilt.

Seux was sentenced to five years and four months in prison, less the time spent in preventive custody, as well as being ordered to pay €5,100 in court fees. Police inspectors John Spiteri and Leeroy Balzan Engerer led the prosecution.