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9th June 2023, 15:19

School music instructor found not guilty of sexual activity with child

Published by GBC News

A music instructor at Bayside School has been found not guilty of sexual activity with a 13 year old child.

The Jury delivered its verdict after just over an hour.

A year after he was charged with the offence, 36 year old Adam Joseph Orfila is now a free man.

The incident was said to have happened in a music lesson. Adam Joseph Orfila was accused of having stood behind a 13 year old girl, and under the pretext of helping her with a keyboard task, rubbing his crotch against her arm.

Prosecutor Kerrin Drago insisted the evidence was clear that the action was intentional, and sexual in nature.

But Defence lawyer Sir Peter Caruana KC told the court the Prosecution's case was riddled with inconsistencies and differences in evidence. He pointed to different accounts between witnesses as to where and when the contact between the defendant and the complainant had taken place, as well as the nature of the contact itself.

Earlier in the week the defendant himself chose to give evidence, and the chair the girl was sitting in during the lesson was brought in as an exhibit. It was Mr Orfila's contention that he was not tall enough to rise over the chair for the contact the girl claimed to have taken place.

Sir Peter also observed that Mr Orfila had been a music tutor for years, and had taught in one to one sessions, so there were many more obvious opportunities for him to have misbehaved than in a classroom full of potential observers, and yet he had never been the subject of a complaint.

He said this was a life changing event for Mr Orfila and his family, and the burden of proof shouldn't change just because the evidence was given by a child.

As she gave her last instructions to the Jury, Judge Karen Ramagge Prescott said inconsistencies in evidence didn't mean the accusation wasn't true, but said it could make it difficult to establish what the truth was.

After considering the evidence, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.