Man charged with sexually abusing seven-year-old relative

Man was arrested after girl's parents and school councillor filed separate police reports

The man is charged with sexual abuse of his cousin's daughter (File photo)
The man is charged with sexual abuse of his cousin's daughter (File photo)

A 52-year-old restaurant worker has been remanded in custody after being charged with the sexual abuse of a relative aged just seven.

The man from Valletta appeared before Magistrate Rachel Montebello on Thursday afternoon.

Police Inspector Joseph Busuttil charged the man with the violent indecent assault of his cousin’s daughter, participation in sexual activities with a minor, corrupting the seven-year-old girl and possession of child pornography. He was also accused of recidivism. 

The charges are aggravated by the family ties between the alleged abuser and his victim.

He was arrested after the girl’s parents went to Valletta police station to file a report, at the same time that a school counsellor separately lodged a police report after the girl related what had been done to her.

The accused stood, head bowed, in the dock as inspector Busuttil explained to the court that the man had admitted, during his interrogation, to having participated in sexual activity with the child, who lives in the same block of flats as the accused.

The court asked the accused what he was pleading, explaining that the charges carried a potential punishment of up to 20 years in prison.

Defence lawyer Malcolm Mifsud entered a plea of not guilty on the man’s behalf. Bail was not requested, but asked the prosecution to summon the civilian witnesses to testify without delay. The child is expected to testify via videoconferencing in a future sitting.

The court imposed a ban on the publication of the accused’s name and that of the minor.

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