A DJ who allegedly raped a woman he had chatted with on social media, was denied bail after pleading not guilty upon his arraignment on Wednesday.
The incident took place on Saturday night when the 32-year-old Colombian national allegedly induced the woman to accompany him to his St Julian’s apartment after work.
The two had first met at a Paceville club when the woman went up to the DJ and asked him to play a song.
That was when he asked her to like him on Instagram and a discussion started off between the two.
On Saturday night, the DJ allegedly invited her to his place after work and although she refused, she finally gave in after he asked her to help him carry some of his work paraphernalia.
The woman later exited the apartment in a state of shock, meeting her friends who had been trying to contact her in vain.
She turned up in tears to file a police report and charges were issued against the suspect aggressor.
The man pleaded not guilty to raping and holding the victim against her will.
A request for a ban on the identity of the victim sparked a similar request by the defence who argued that both parties’ names ought to be banned.
Following some discussion about the legal position in this respect, the court, presided over by magistrate Nadine Lia deemed that the ban was to apply to both in view of the sensitivity of the case that was still at a very premature stage.
A request for bail was objected to in view of the very early stage of proceedings, the fact that the alleged victim and other civilians were still to testify and because the accused had a Colombian passport and no ties on the island.
Moreover, there were no agreements with the Colombian authorities in case the accused absconded.
Prosecuting inspector John Spiteri pointed out further that the accused and victim had an Instagram chat.
The day after the incident, the accused had chatted with the victim saying he was sorry for what happened the previous night.
Defence lawyers Edmond Cuschieri and Rachel Tua countered that being a foreigner was not to work to the accused’s prejudice.
The man had a job and a fixed address and, besides, evidence had been preserved in the magisterial inquiry.
The alleged victim was also protected under a protection order that was effective until final judgment, argued the lawyers, adding that before the alleged rape the parties had walked in the street hand in hand.
“It takes a fertile imagination to claim that she was unwilling,” remarked Cuschieri, prompting the inspector to rebut that the accused “was pulling her along”.
After hearing submissions, the court denied bail since the victim, who was deemed vulnerable, was still to testify and there was a real fear of tampering with evidence.
AG lawyers Kaylie Bonnett and Darlene Grima assisted prosecuting Inspectors John Spiteri and Brian Xuereb. Lawyer Alfred Abela appeared parte civile.
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