Alleged rapist blackmailed teen into sex with promise of deleting her nude photos

The 15-year-old was bribed into having sex with the man in a hotel room with the prospect of deleting indecent photographs of her, the court heard 

The girl was threatened by the man that he would disseminate nude photos of her
The girl was threatened by the man that he would disseminate nude photos of her

A court has heard a disturbing case of rape and extortion this morning as a man was charged with forcing a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him to avoid him disseminating nude photographs of her.

Restaurant worker Mazhar Mushtaq, 31, from Pakistan, living in Qormi appeared in the dock before magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit, charged with the rape of the 15-year-old girl, forcing her to participate in a pornographic exhibition, participating in sexual activities with an underage girl through violence, force or threats, making a pornographic video, misuse of telecommunications equipment and producing child pornography.

The magistrate heard the girl’s lawyer Veronique Dalli explain how the man had become fixated on the girl after meeting her a few times.

When she put her foot down and refused to meet him again, he had used three fake social media accounts to pretend he was a third party and demand that she get back with him or compromising photographs would be published.

In the end, the 15-year-old was bribed with the prospect of deleting the photographs, into having sex with the accused in a hotel room, the court was told.

Prosecuting inspectors Paula Ciantar and Jeffrey Scicluna made a joint request with the girl’s lawyers asking the court to appoint an expert to extract data from the man’s social media profiles on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

This accused had only been in Malta for three months and has an Italian residence permit. He had come to Malta specifically to be with the girl after the two struck up a conversation on Instagram. 

Lawyer Christopher Chircop, legal aid to the accused, entered a plea of not guilty and requested bail. This was objected to by the prosecution, which argued that the accused had no ties to Malta and that the underage victim had not testified and lived close to his workplace.

There were other persons who were approached by the accused under the guise of one of his aliases and who must testify, said Inspector Scicluna, because after the victim had blocked him, he was passing threats through third parties.

Bail was not granted, the court saying this was principally because of the civilian witnesses, but also because it felt it would be premature to release the accused from custody at this stage.

The court imposed a ban on the publication of the name of the minor involved.

Lawyer Christopher Chircop was defence counsel. Lawyers Veronique Dalli and Dean Hili appeared as parte civile for the girl. Inspectors Paula Ciantar and Jeffrey Scicluna prosecuted.

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