The Malta Independent 23 April 2024, Tuesday
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Man cleared of abusing stepdaughter, girl lied about him for switching off internet connection

Tuesday, 20 February 2024, 12:22 Last update: about 3 months ago

A girl invented a story about her being abused by her stepfather after he switched off the internet for disciplinary purposes, a court ruled Tuesday.

The man was cleared of the charges brought against him after a report by his 15-year-old stepdaughter.

Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit heard how the girl felt rejected and often lied to get her way.

Even though she had described her stepfather as a “father figure”, she felt angry at him when he disciplined her by turning off the internet connection.

The stepfather was charged with defiling and sexually abusing the girl, who was then 15, and her younger sister on and before 2022.

Police Inspector Joseph Zammit testified that police intervened following a report by government support agency Appogg.

The girl and her sister said that they were being defiled by their stepfather, but when testifying via video conference, the girls admitted they had lied because they were angry at the stepfather.

The mother testified how she was married to the stepfather for nine years and he supported her and her daughters from a previous relationship. She said her eldest daughter was known for lying and had got in trouble in the past.

The magistrate also heard forensic psychologist Chantal Avellino who said the girl was very angry that her stepfather had turned off the internet.

This is why she convinced her younger sister to invent a story about him.

“It looks like the girl did not imagine this would escalate to this point and her goal was to make sure he never disciplined her again,” the expert said.

In light of all this, the magistrate cleared the man of the charges.

Lawyers Franco Debono Debono and Marion Camilleri represented the man.

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