A Maltese man who forced women to sexually abuse his then seven-year-old son so that he did not “grow up gay” has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment. 

The court was told that the 65-year-old man from the city of Siġġiewi in Malta, “didn’t want his son to be gay because he already had two gay family members”, Malta Today reported earlier this week. The man’s two cousins were gay. The man has not been named to protect the identity of the child. 

The man was charged in 2016 when the sex workers who had been forced to be with the young child reported him to the country’s child protection agency Appoġġ.

Sex Workers Alert Authorities

According to the police, a woman who lived with the man said that he would take his young son, who is now 12, to Marsa for the purposes of subjecting him to sexual abuse. The man would allegedly force his son into group sex acts with other women. 

Evidence was presented in court by the woman who alerted the police as well as another woman that when the boy was not able to get an erection, his father would whip him with an electrical cord and shouted at the child calling him “pufta”. Other women confirmed that the man had forced his son to take part in sexual acts. 

When the police interviewed the child in the presence of social workers, he said that his father had threatened to get him locked up in an institution if he ever reported the case to the police or authorities. 

The man pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges. Magistrate Audrey Demicoli held him guilty and sentenced him to eight years in prison. The child, who is now in the care of Appoġġ, and the women who testified against the man have been granted protection for three years. 

LGBTQI Rights In Malta

Malta is one of the most LGBTQI friendly countries in the world. In 2020, the country topped ILGA Europe’s Rainbow Rankings for the fifth year in a row as the European country with a high level of protection for the LGBTQI communities achieving a score of 89%. The countries in second and third place were Belguim and Luxembourg each with a score of 73%. 

Malta legalised same-sex relations in 1973 and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity was banned in 2004. Special laws protect trans and intersex children. 

In 2016, Malta was the first country in the world to ban conversion practices, with fines of up to €5,000 and six months imprisonment for offenders. Same-sex marriages were legalised in Malta in 2017.

Public opinion has also supported the LGBTQI community with a 2019 Eurobarometer survey revealing 67% supported same-sex marriages and 73% saying the community should enjoy the same rights as heterosexuals.

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