The Malta Independent 20 September 2019, Friday

Actor John Suda loses teacher’s warrant after indecent assault verdict

Tuesday, 22 January 2019, 13:37 Last update: about 9 months ago

Veteran actor John Suda had his teacher’s warrant withdrawn, a notice on Tuesday’s Government Gazette has revealed.

In a notice in the gazette, the Ministry for Education said Suda was “no longer qualified to retain a teacher’s warrant”.

“Mr Suda’s teacher’s permanent warrant number 2719 is being revoked with immediate effect and he is therefore no longer in possession of the teacher’s warrant,” the notice reads.

Veteran actor John Suda was handed a suspended sentence last October for committing a violent indecent assault on a 22-year-old actress in 2015.

Magistrate Audrey Demicoli heard how Suda had invited the victim, who cannot be named by the order of the court, for one-on-one coaching after she had auditioned for a part in a local soap opera.

But when the young actress turned up for her lesson, Suda had locked the door and ordered her to take off her clothes and start reciting her lines. When she asked why she had to do this, he had raised his voice and told her that it was necessary to improve her confidence. He had then proceeded to blindfold the girl and tell her to walk around the room naked while reciting her lines.

The traumatised actress had taken a taxi to work where she suffered a psychological collapse such that she could not leave her house for three days and her employer had to request the assistance of a psychotherapist.

The accused, who held a warrant as a drama teacher for 40 years, had told police that he had used this method in workshops and that he had done so with the victim to “see how cool she can stay in these situations.”

The court, after hearing the victim testify on several occasions, said that it was morally convinced that she had not wished to be tutored in this manner. “It is the opinion of this court that the accused utilised this methodology with bad intentions, in the sense that his actions indicate that his intention was not to use the methodology as a means of teaching but as a means of subjugating [the girl] to his will.”

Taking into account his clean criminal record, the court sentenced the veteran actor to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years. A protection order was issued in favour of the young actress.

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