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MaltaToday 22 February 2023 MIDWEEK

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16 maltatoday | WEDNESDAY • 15 FEBRUARY 2023 NEWS ACROSS 1) Water-to-wine site 5) Beat at chess 10) Propel a dinghy 13) Pioneering DJ Freed 14) "Shoulda listened to me!" 15) Raw rock 16) UPC fighter nicknamed "Rowdy" 18) Grazing place 19) "Don't panic" 20) Crew member 22) "Born in the___" 23) They're verboten 24) Soup base 27) Film charioteer Ben-___ 28) The munchies, say 31) Berry's Johnny B. 32) Mineral deposits 34) "__ the ramparts ..." 35) Chair designer Charles 36) Work unit 37) Jon of "Pretty in Pink" 39) Baking meas. 40) Beef cut 42) Taxi drivers 43) Blossom support 45) Walk-__ (minor roles) 46) Skeletal makeup 47) Synagogue leader 49) Feeling blah 50) Sentence ender 52) Doing the Wright thing? 57) Self-image 58) 1972 Michael Jackson hit 60) In the past 61) United in a cause 62) Spydom's ___ Hari 63) Male cat 64) Sub-freezing tempera - tures 65) Make coffee DOWN 1) Alamo rentals 2) Oodles and oodles 3) Granny 4) Roddick of tennis 5) Cash, slangily 6) Reunion attendee 7) QB's scores 8) Weedy lot, e.g. 9) Moshe of Israel 10) British luxury car 11) Three-layered cookie 12) Hold up well 14) Totally destroy 17) Most severe 21) Debtor's letters 23) Gentle jab 24) Blowhard's claim 25) Children's show from 1953 to 1994 26) Work of Sappho 27) Brass section 29) Nerdy types 30) Slips up 31) Fetches 32) Tea of "Madam Secre - tary" 33) Learned one 38) Sought office 41) 1996 Bill Clinton rival 44) __ tai cocktail 46) Window shade 48) Sacha Baron Cohen role 49) Dartmouth, Yale, etc. 50) Organic fuel 51) Frozen waffle brand 52) Related (to) 53) Mummy's home 54) Support beam 55) Evening, in an ad 56) Chew like a squirrel 59) The Browns, on score - boards F Solution to last week's crossword The answers to today's crossword will be published in next week's Midweek edition Weather Cloudy with rain Visibility Good becoming moderate to poor in rain Wind East to Southeast force 5 to 6 locally force 6 becoming force 6 locally force 7 TODAY TOMORROW Crossword WEATHER PARTLY CLOUDY PARTLY CLOUDY 15 0 / 8 0 16 0 / 8 0 FEELS LIKE 15 0 FEELS LIKE 16 0 MATTHEW AGIUS A 62-year-old man has been sen- tenced to 13 months in prison, suspended for two years after he was found guilty of badger- ing two 12-year-old boys with unprompted requests for sexual favours and threatening one of the boy's mother. Nicholas Zammit was found guilty of causing the two chil- dren to fear that violence would be used against them, harassing them, asking them for sexual fa- vours, speaking or behaving in a sexual manner in the presence of minors, as well as attacking and threatening them. The boys had testified via vid- eoconferencing, one of them telling the court that Zammit had made several outlandish claims in his bid to entice the child into having sex with him. Inspector Roxanne Tabone, who investigated and prosecut- ed the case, told the court that the two boys had gone to the po- lice, reporting that Zammit was sexually harassing them. One of the boys had told the police he had heard the man asking the other boy to perform a sex act on him. The boy refused, and an argu- ment broke out. When the other boy had attempted to intervene, the accused had sworn at him and grabbed him by the neck. The police were also told that the man had also made a pass at the young man's uncle and had threatened the young man's mother when she had warned Zammit to leave her son alone. In addition to the information he gave to the Police, the boy al- so testified in Court, recounting how the accused would often sit down next to him on the pave- ment for a chat. Initially the con- versations were unremarkable, but as the meetings continued, Zammit had started discussing sexual topics and would ask the boys to perform sex acts on each other. Under cross-examination, the minor said that he would visit the defendant at around 7pm and would spend approximate- ly an hour chatting with him, before going to join his friends. Zammit had started to speak about sexual topics within two weeks of their first meeting. The boy explained that he had first told his friend about the disquieting conversations, and after that had also informed his mother. The boy said that he had been afraid of reporting Zammit to the Police because the man had warned him that if he told his parents "he would not see the next sunrise". The second boy had also testi- fied to having been badgered for sex by the defendant. He said that at first he thought the man was joking but when the request was repeated he had sworn at the man, who then grabbed the boy by the neck and waved his fist at him. The mother of one of the boys had also testified, as had his grandmother, telling the court that the boy had become with- drawn. When asked what was wrong he had said that the ac- cused had said "nasty words" to him. When the mother had con- fronted Zammit, he had hit her on the back, the court was told. When questioned by the po- lice, the defendant had denied the minor's claims, telling of- ficers that he was unable to have sex because of his various health problems. He had repeated this explanation as well as his denial when he had testified before the court. Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit was not convinced, however, ruling that the evi- dence showed that Zammit had used words of a sexual nature with the two minors and had asked them for sexual favours. The defence had tried to cast doubts about the honesty of the minors, observed the court, not- ing that although it was possible that they had ulterior motives, this possibility had not been borne out by the evidence. Together with the suspended prison sentence, the court issued a two-year restraining order, prohibiting the accused from approaching or communicating with the two boys. Court finds man, 62, guilty of sexually harassing two 12-year-old boys One of the boys had told the police he had heard the man asking the other boy to perform a sex act on him

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