A 25-year-old man has been sentenced to ten years in prison after being found guilty of sexual abuse and rape of his minor cousin.
The abuse had been ongoing from the time when the girl – today aged 16 – was seven years old. The abuse carried on until the girl was 14 years old, when she realised what her cousin as doing after attending personal and physical development lessons at school. The Court, Madam Justice Consuelo Herrera presiding, ordered a ban on publication of the names of both accused and victim. The Prosecution stated that the abuse had taken place in Marsa at the home of the grandmother of the two cousins, when gthe victim’s mother would leave her daughter with the grandmother whilst she went to work.
In her evidence through video conferencing, the girl stated that the events had left a negative impact. When Judge Consuelo Scerri Herrera asked her why she waited for seven years before opening up, the girl replied that she lacked the courage and was afraid of breaking up the family. She added that she had spoken out for the first time after being encouraged by her ex-partner, and had made an appointment with her guidance teacher.
Asked by the Judge what she understood by the term abuse, the girl had replied that it meant being forced to do something against her will, as she had been forced to do by her cousin between once and twice every month. The girl also described the occasion when her cousin had raped her in the washroom when she was ten years old, and her cousin 17 years old. She added that after that occasion, her cousin had tried again to have relations with her on another occasion, but she had not let him. Questioned about relations with her boyfriends, she replied that she had not done any of the things she had experienced with her cousin.
The girl’s mother also gave evidence on the second day of the trial. The mother described her daughter as a quiet girl, reserved and who did not cause trouble. She added that she had never noted anything, her daughter had never told her about the abuse, and whatever she got to know had been told to her by the Police.
Żagħżugħ akkużat li kien ilu seba’ snin jabbuża lil kuġintu
Titkellem fil-qorti t-tfajla li ġiet stuprata minn kuġinuha