Man charged with possession and sharing of extreme child pornography

Accused produced and shared pornography featuring children under the age of nine being subjected to acts of ‘bestiality, brutality, sadism or torture’

File photo
File photo

A man was remanded in custody on Monday after he was charged with offences relating to the possession and sharing of extreme child pornography.

Inspector Dorianne Tabone charged 33-year-old Msida resident Rheo Victoriano Loberiza, a Filipino national, with producing or sharing pornography of an extreme nature, which featured children under the age of nine being “subjected to acts of bestiality, brutality, sadism or torture,” and knowingly acquiring access to indecent materials featuring underage subjects through technological means. 

It is understood that the Maltese police had tracked Loberiza down after receiving several reports from the US-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children about an individual who was requesting payment on Facebook for the supply of what was described as new material involving extreme child pornography. The material involved the abuse of children under the age of 9, the police said.

At the start of the arraignment, the parties asked to approach the bench and discuss the case in private, but magistrate Charmaine Galea declined, explaining that she was acting in line with guidelines which had been established by the superior courts.

Loberiza, who told the court that he worked at a supermarket, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Defence lawyer Adriano Spiteri asked the court to impose a ban on the publication of Loberiza’s name. Inspector Tabone objected to that request, pointing out that there was no legal basis on which the court could issue such an order.

The court upheld the prosecution’s objection and rejected the request, but did impose a ban on naming the supermarket where the defendant worked.

The defence said it would not be requesting bail at this stage.