A man who allegedly engaged in sexual acts with the underage daughter of his partner, was remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to the charges.
The 46-year old construction worker was arraigned on Tuesday after the 14-year old confided in her mother when she could no longer tolerate the situation.
The mother reported her daughter’s allegations to the police.
The police charged the man with the defilement and with having engaged in sexual activities with the girl.
Pleading not guilty to the charges, the arrested man requested bail, prompting strong objections by the prosecution who highlighted the seriousness of the alleged offences and the fact that the risk of tampering with evidence.
The main civilian witness in this case was the alleged victim herself and said was still to testify, the prosecution argued, adding that since the accused had once resided in Australia and had family members still living there, he could easily abscond.
The defence lawyers, however, rebutted that the alleged wrongdoing dated back one year, within which the man would have had ample time to escape. Furthermore, there was since no contact between the alleged wrongdoer and the victim.
Moreover, denying the man bail would create serious problems in relation to his work, the defence continued.
Magistrate Neville Camilleri turned down the request for bail after considering the circumstances of the case, the nature of the charges and the possible fear of tampering with evidence.
The court upheld a request by the defence for a ban on the publication of the identity of the man charged.
Inspectors John Spiteri and Kylie Borg prosecuted.
Lawyers Alfred Abela and William Cuschieri were defence counsel.