Friday, May 29, 2015, 12:09 by Matthew Xuereb
A woman was this morning cleared of defiling her 16-year-old lesbian lover when they were caught by the minor's mother kissing in the car.
The court ruled that there was no evidence to prove that the 28-year-old woman from Marsa, whose name cannot be published by court order, had defiled an underage girl who she had been dating for two weeks.
The case took place on March 16 last year and started being investigated by the police after the minor's mother caught her daughter kissing the woman in her car. When the mother saw them at 6.45am, her daughter was sitting on the woman who was on the driver's seat and they were kissing while still fully-clothed.
Magistrate Audrey Demicoli heard that the minor, who was due to turn 17 just a few weeks later, was a lesbian but had not told her mother that she was gay.
The minor told the court that she had met the defendant through Facebook and had been dating her for two weeks. She said that that evening they had gone to Paceville and the defendant later drove her home. While they were outside her house, they began kissing and she sat on her. She confirmed that the woman was not her first girlfriend.
With regard to the defilement charge, the court said that for the completed offence, apart from the formal element there must also be the lewd act which may be committed either on the person or in the presence of the minor.
The magistrate said that lewd acts are those that arouse a person's sexual appetite and are capable of arousing sexual interest of the victim. In this case, she said, the minor had previous experiences of lesbian relationships and knew what she was doing. It was not the defendant who drew the minor into that sexual orientation.
The magistrate said the minor tried to hide her sexual orientation from her mother and "it seems" the mother filed the report because of the shock when she saw her daughter with a woman instead of a man. She said there was no evidence to prove defilement.
On the second charge of participating in sexual acts with the minor, the magistrate said that according to the evidence presented in court, the only thing the women did was kiss on the lips.
The magistrate said that although the law did not indicate what actually constituted a sexual act, the court believes that kissing on the lips did not fall into the definition of acts of a sexual nature and therefore cleared her of this charge too.
Police Inspector Sylvana Briffa prosecuted while lawyer Andy Ellul was defence counsel.