A Maltese woman has provided graphic testimony about how she was almost raped by a man who had earlier tried to make a move on her at a Paceville nightclub.
The case took place in October 2016 but was closed yesterday, with the aggressor, 29-year-old Dutch national Biondy Clayd Raafenberg, jailed for a year.
In her testimony, as reported by L-Orizzont today, the woman described the moments leading up to the attempted rape.
“My friends and I had gone to a nightclub in Paceville and, as I was dancing, a man started harassing me, telling me he likes me and saying he wants to take me home with him,” she said. “I told him in his face that I have a boyfriend, that I want to continue dancing by myself and that I want nothing to do with him, but he kept trying to make a move on me.”
“Because of his persistence, I made sure he wasn’t following me when I left the club. I went to another club but when I left, I saw the man outside, probably looking for me. I spotted a friend and told him to speak to the man to tell him to leave me alone.”
The woman saw Raafenberg walking up the Paceville steps, thought he had decided to leave her alone, and started making her way back home by herself through the streets between Bay Street and Swieqi.
When she reached the top of the hill, near the main road of Triq Sant’ Andrija, someone grabbed her by the mouth and tried to rip her clothes off.
“I did everything I could to escape his grip and, when I did, I realised it was the same man who was bothering me in Havana,” she said. “With my back to the wall, I kicked him in the thigh, fell to the floor and dragged myself to the main road. I would rather have got run over by a truck than got raped.”
Thankfully, a passer-by caught sight of the incident, prompting the aggressor to run away. After getting home, the woman went straight to the police station and helped them search for her would-be rapist. He was spotted talking to another girl in Paceville and was arrested.
“This experience affected me really badly,” the woman said. “I am now scared to walk the streets by myself and I have never walked down that same road again. I no longer feel safe and I feel broken inside.”
Raafenberg denied harassing her at the Paceville club or assaulting her later on, claiming this was a case of mistaken identity. However, magistrate Montebello said she was morally convinced the woman was telling the truth and jailed him for a year, while also granting a three-year restraining order.