A man, who repeatedly blackmailed and raped a woman, threatening to tell her partner about their 'affair' unless she satisfied his sexual needs, was jailed for eight years by a court saying there was no place for him in society until he was truly rehabilitated.
David Xuereb, 48, a recidivist, was declared guilty of violent rape, violent indecent assault as well as stalking and harassing the victim, causing her to fear violence throughout the ordeal dating back to 2017.
The two first met in July 2016 and after an initial chat, Xuereb had reached out to her through Facebook, inviting her for a coffee.
At the time, the woman was going through a rough patch and therefore welcomed his company, she later explained in court.
But soon their friendship took an intimate turn and Xuereb grew obsessed, showering her with gifts, making sexual demands and threatening to spill the beans to her partner if she ever dared to “back off.”
As the woman sought to break off all contact with the man, even changing her mobile number and blocking him on Facebook, his messages persisted, increasingly threatening as the months went by.
“Remember if I want to ruin you, I know how and I will be the most nasty and savage man on earth,” read one text, as the woman grew more anxious, fearing to leave home alone or go out during lunch breaks, whilst putting her phone on silent mode.
“If you do not meet me you lose him,” Xuereb’s messages threatened.
Footage showed victim's reluctance
Fearing her partner’s reaction, the woman succumbed over and over again to her stalker’s pressure, going to his Valletta office to repeatedly and reluctantly satisfy his sexual exigencies.
Those meetings took place with regular frequency, weekly or fortnightly.
Yet, little did she know that during those sexual encounters, she was being filmed.
Xuereb would switch on the strategically placed camera shortly before the woman’s arrival and footage subsequently retrieved by investigators and viewed by the court, clearly showed the victim’s reluctance.
Before each session she would tell him that she was going along with him only to stop him from telling her partner.
Then she would cover her face and sob while Xuereb forced himself upon her, refusing to stop even when she begged him to.
He later testified that she knew that she was being filmed, but when delivering judgment on Thursday the court, presided over by magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech, said the accused’s version was “a blatant lie.”
The woman’s facial expression clearly spoke volumes about her passive resignation to the ordeal, allowing herself to be used and exploited to satisfy his sexual aberrations as long as he did not tell her partner, observed the court.
It was a Facebook message to her sister one day in September 2017 that brought the victim to “breaking point,” prompting her to file a report at the Valletta police station about her months-long ordeal.
That message, sent to her sister by the accused’s girlfriend under a fake profile, contained images of the victim having sex with Xuereb.
I felt like an animal
“I felt like an animal,” confessed the woman, when subsequently testifying in court.
The footage spoke for itself, said Magistrate Frendo Dimech, likening the victim to the “sacrificial lamb” who sobbed in humiliation throughout those sexual encounters.
The accused’s testimony lacked spontaneity, said the court, observing that Xuereb had come across as confused and reticent at the witness stand.
A psychotherapist who guided the victim through 50 sessions over a two-year treatment plan, explained that the woman suffered flashbacks that robbed her of sleep.
She also put on weight and shied away from social contacts.
The ordeal had left the victim psychologically and emotionally scarred, observed the court, declaring the accused guilty and condemning him to an eight-year term of imprisonment as well as a three-year treatment order and restraining order.
His obsession had rendered the victim a slave to his sexual exigencies and as evidenced by his chequered criminal record, the accused had wasted all chances previously granted by the courts.
Until he was truly rehabilitated, his place was certainly not in society, concluded the court.
Inspectors John Spiteri and Jeffrey Scicluna prosecuted.
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