Priest Cleared of Indecent Exposure Charges


November 14, 2008

A priest was cleared of exposing himself to a woman on Thursday after the Gozo Magistratesí Court determined that her testimony was inconsistent.

The defendant was accused of offending public morals by exposing himself to Swiss national Helena Wiser in Dwejra on September 17, 2008 between 1600-1700h.

Ms Wiser was walking in the area where she said that a man exposed himself to her as soon as she looked in his direction.

She approached an Italian couple for assistance, but said that she could not be understood by them. She then met Joseph Portelli, an ice cream vendor in the area who she already knew, and pointed out a man she alleged was the aggressor.

The man drove off, but Mr Portelli took down the carís registration number, which led police to the priest.

The defendant denied all charges brought against him.

The court determined that Ms Wiserís testimony was inconsistent, and that among other things she could not be certain whether the man who had exposed himself to her was the same one who Mr Portelli saw drive off.

The court therefore could not find any proof that the defendant was guilty, and Magistrate Edwina Grima acquitted him of all charges.


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