Carer charged with sexually harassing exchange student, granted bail

A carer has denied charges that he sexually harassed a student by giving her an unsolicited kiss on the neck at the place of work

The court granted bail since the victim was no longer in Malta
The court granted bail since the victim was no longer in Malta

A carer employed at a retirement home in Fgura has denied sexual harassment charges pressed after a 17-year-old exchange student reported him for an uninvited kiss on her neck. 

44-year-old Indian citizen Kasu Haridasan pleaded not guilty to having harassed the underage Spanish student on 28 March.

During his arraignment before Magistrate Elaine Rizzo on Friday, police inspectors Wayne Buhagiar and Antonello Magri explained that the young woman, by that time 18 years old, had gone to the Paola police station on 5 April to report the incident. She told the police that she was an Erasmus exchange student training to become a carer and had been on a work experience placement at Dar San Guzepp in Fgura at the time. 

The defendant was working with the alleged victim, who reported that on 28 March, he had followed her as she went to the bathroom to fetch a bucket of water. There, the man had allegedly hugged her and kissed her neck, before gesturing to her to kiss him on the lips. The girl did not oblige and, instead, had left.

Haridasan pleaded not guilty to the charges. A bail request filed by defence lawyer Wilfrid Buttigieg was objected to by the prosecution. Buttigieg submitted that the defendant had resided in Malta for the past four years, together with his wife and their two young children and that remanding him in custody would have “a disastrous” effect on his dependents, as he was the sole breadwinner.

In addition, the man had no criminal record in Malta and the alleged victim had since left the islands, which meant that he would not be able to contact her or tamper with evidence.

Bail was granted, secured by a €2,500 deposit and a personal guarantee of €6,000. The court also issued a protection order in favour of the alleged victim.