Accused in underage sex case released on bail

The man was ordered to sign a bail book twice a week, with a protection order being issued in favour of one of the victims

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

A man accused of having sex with two underage girls has been released on bail.

The 24-year-old from Fgura was arraigned last week and charged with participating in sexual activities with two minors as well as with possessing child porn after one of his victims sought help from an online counselling service.

Inspector Joseph Busuttil accused the man of having sex with the first minor – a girl now aged 18 – for several years. When they broke up, he found a 13-year-old girl, he said. The accused would have been 22 at the time.

The man was also accused of possessing indecent material of the two girls.

Bail had not been requested during his arraignment, as the two girls were yet to testify. Since then, both of the girls have given their testimony to the court behind closed doors.

The older girl is understood to have told the court that she had been dating the accused for four years and has no interest in the case. The girl would have been 12 when they started dating, while the accused would have been 18.

Sources told the MaltaToday that the younger girl said that she had met the accused in Bahar Ic-Caghaq after two weeks of chatting on Facebook. Her parents had forced her to block him on Facebook after finding that she had sent him pictures of her in her underwear.

Two weeks after this, she had had a pregnancy scare and had written to the free online counselling service for help, at which point the police were involved.

In a decree handed down this morning, the court, presided by magistrate Audrey Demicoli, noted that the main witnesses had now testified. Bail was granted against a deposit of €2,000 and a personal guarantee of €5,000.

The man was ordered to sign a bail book twice a week. A protection order in favour of the younger victim was imposed.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri appeared for the accused.

Inspector Joseph Busuttil is prosecuting.

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