Dutch man denies raping Maltese woman, insists sex was consensual

A court in the Netherlands had convicted Johan Stellingwerf, accused of raping five women, of raping two women

A man from the Netherlands is pleading not guilty to raping a Maltese woman and defrauding her €25,000.

Dutch Johan Stellingwerf, 33, has already been accused of raping five women and a court in the Netherlands had convicted him of raping two women. The accused is currently appealing the charges before the European Court of Human Rights.

During the compilation of evidence, a police inspector said the Maltese woman, who was in a four-month relationship with the Dutchman, initially recanted her allegation but then told the police to proceed with the case.

The woman, in a court case that has been going on for over a year, has claimed that Stellingwerf raped her, for two months.

The man’s lawyers, Malcolm Mifsud and Jason Grima, are contesting the charges, insisting that the sex between the two was consensual.

The defence has also argued that the two were in a relationship and went abroad together on several occasions.

Taking the witness stand, inspector Robert Vella told the court that on June 2 2013, the alleged victim filed a police report whereby she had claimed that her boyfriend had raped her a year before. He said that at the time, the victim claimed to know the accused’s first name only.

Stellingwerf was arrested by the Police upon setting foot in Malta, tipped by the victim of his arrival after he contacted her.

Cross examined by the defence, the inspector recounted how the Dutchman and the Maltese woman went abroad together. The case was referred to the Vice Squad, but the victim initially recanted her allegations. Two days alter, the victim told the police her initial criminal complaint should subsist and that police should institute criminal proceedings against her former boyfriend.

Insisting that the sex was consensual, the defence underlined that during the relationship, and after the initial rape had occurred, the alleged victim nevertheless sent him lewd text messages, including erotic emails and correspondence. 

The defence also claimed that the accused and the victim had been in a four-month relationship. It is also understood that after she filed the allegations, the victim and her estranged boyfriend met up abroad in Poland, Amsterdam, and Barcelona.

The defence also insisted that the accused is not a fugitive, and that conversely, when he was summoned to appear in court in Holland, he returned out of his free will.

Inspector Yvonne Farrugia, who is prosecuting, refused to testify, claiming that she would testify on another day due to the presence of the media in the courtroom.

Slamming the “disgraceful” comments that appeared on social media against the accused, defence lawyer Malcolm Mifsud said that his client is feeling “threatened.” Moreover, he insisted that the accused is being constantly harassed.

“My client is going through a difficult time. He is here in Malta solely because of these allegations. He is now being hounded and harassed,” he said.

Magistrate Josette Demicoli upheld the request and ordered the alleged victim and her father not to approach the accused.

Inspector Yvonne Farrugia while Lawyers Malcolm Mifsud and Jason Grima were defence counsel. Lawyer Pauline Lanzon was parte civile.