Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mark Vella Gera

Name: Mark Vella Gera

Age: 37

Status: Convicted, pleaded guilty to defiling minors between the ages of 13 and 14

Occupation: Teacher, meteorologist

Risk: Currently running Weather Club for boys and girls aged 11 to 15

Residence: Unknown

Aliases: Unknown

Ex-religion teacher confesses to defilement via SMS

A former religion teacher who yesterday admitted to sending SMS messages with sexual connotations to former students over the past weeks was given a two-year jail term suspended for four years.

The 37-year-old man, who cannot be named by court order in order to protect his identity and that of the victims, pleaded guilty to defiling minors between the ages of 13 and 14.

Magistrate Anthony Vella heard that the man had started internet chatting sessions with his former students and then proceeded to send SMS messages. The messages and chat room conversations contained sexual connotations.

The man, whose teaching warrant has not been renewed, is now self-employed.

Magistrate Vella ordered that the teaching warrant never be issued again and that the man keeps away from schools or institutions that have minors in attendance.

Prosecuting Police Inspector Louise Calleja said the man was still being investigated and that he had been collaborating with the police.

Lawyers Joseph Giglio and Stephen Tonna Lowell were defence counsel.

Source: Times of Malta, Wednesday, 23rd April 2008