The Malta Independent 24 October 2021, Sunday

Rapist who filmed sexual abuse gets eight-year jail sentence

Thursday, 23 September 2021, 15:52 Last update: about 30 days ago

A court has jailed a man from Floriana for eight years after convicting him of repeatedly raping, stalking and violently attacking a woman who wanted to end their secret, abusive, relationship.

David Xuereb, 48, had been charged in September 2017, after his victim went to the police.

Xuereb and the victim had started a secret sexual relationship, despite both being in relationships with other people. Their liaisons would take place in his Valletta office during the daytime over the span of around nine months. When the woman wanted to end their relationship, he had threatened to inform her partner about their encounters, which he had also secretly filmed.

The victim had found out that sessions had been recorded when compromising photographs of her were sent to her sister. She had cut off all contact with the accused and had changed her mobile phone number in August 2017, but he had continued to harass her, sending her emails on her work email address.

Inspectors John Spiteri and Jeffrey Scicluna, who prosecuted the case, told presiding Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech that during investigations the police found videos which showed the woman crying and telling the man to stop. This led them to treat the case as rape and not revenge porn, the court heard.

The victim, whose name cannot be published by court order, said she was unaware that she was being filmed, the inspectors said. She had told the police that Xuereb would threaten to reveal the secret relationship to her partner. He would use this as leverage to have sex with her, she said.

Xuereb was called in for questioning by the police, who found videos on his hard disk showing the woman who was clearly uncomfortable and who at times would burst out crying during the sexual activities. The videos showed her clearly stating that she did not want to have sex with him and was only doing so because he was threatening to tell her partner.

Videos of Xuereb with other women, categorised by name, were also found on the hard disk, noted the court.

Investigations showed that the videos and photographs between Xuereb and the victim had been sent to the victim’s sister from a fake profile set up by Xuereb’s partner after she had discovered them.

Inspector John Spiteri told the court that the videos showed the camera being set up in a hidden location in Xuereb’s Vincenti Buildings office. The victim is heard crying and telling her rapist that she was not enjoying the encounter but Xuereb would continue having sex with her, Spiteri testified.

The victim had testified, telling the court that she had met Xuereb on Facebook in July 2016 and later met him for a coffee. A consensual intimate relationship developed, but around a month into their relationship, he became increasingly “obsessed and invasive.”

On one occasion, when she was unable to answer Xuereb’s phone calls and messages due to reception problems, he had texted her “You for not be with me, but you will be with no one.” From then on, a series of threats were received, with Xuereb warning that he would ruin her and that he would be “the most nasty and savage man on Earth.” He later also threatened to kill himself if she were to end the relationship.

The court noted that certain videos showed Xuereb’s behaviour as being “most cruel” whilst he was raping the victim, who would be crying and begging him to stop tormenting her. “Nothing was going to stop him from gratifying himself at her expense!” observed the court, which went on to describe the acts as “cowardly” and “perverted.”

Expert witnesses told the court that the victim now suffers from PTSD and a host of other psychological and emotional problems as a direct result of the repeated rape.

The man’s videos were themselves the best evidence against him, noted the court, ruling that society had to be protected from his dangerous obsessions, “which rendered a woman a slave to his sexual urges.”

“In the opinion of the Court, the actions manifested by the accused, his criminal conduct clearly show that until the day comes that the accused is truly rehabilitated, his place is certainly not in society.”

“In the circumstances and in view of the evidence produced, David Xuereb must be imprisoned. During this time in incarceration, it is expected that the accused take all treatment and therapy available to address his impulsiveness, especially with persons whom he is intimate with…It is only this way that other women who may attract his attention in future are truly protected from a sexual predator of this nature.”

Xuereb was jailed for eight years and placed under a three-year treatment order. A three-year restraining order prohibiting him from approaching the victim or her family was also imposed.

The court banned the publication of the name of the victim and Xuereb’s partner on all media.

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