Raja teenager sentenced to one-year jail term for defilement

A sixteen-year-old boy has been sentenced to one-year imprisonment for defiling a six-year-old girl in Raja County in Western Bahr el Ghazal State.

A High Court Circuit supported by UNMISS’ Rule of Law Department is currently in Raja County to try a backlog of cases that accumulated because there is no resident judge in the county.

Wilson Cirilo Jada, the state’s legal advisor and prosecutor, said there were more than ten rape and defilement cases awaiting trial in Raja County and called for sensitization of citizens to reduce rape cases in the area.

“The victim is an underage small girl who is six years old and the perpetrator is also an underage boy of sixteen years and the court observed this during the ruling. There are more than ten rape and defilement cases and we have tried three cases with two still under process for tomorrow. One case was settled and the accused was sentenced,” he stated. “The most widespread crime in Raja County is rape and we shall try with our partners in UNMISS to also do more sensitization because we realized that sentencing the perpetrators to jail terms has no effect and has not led to a reduction in the cases” he added.

The families of the victim and the convict expressed mixed reactions after the ruling of Judge Aban Atong, the presiding of the High Court in Western Bahr el Ghazal State. 

A female relative of the convicted teenager told this publication that they will dialogue with the victim’s family to see if they can reach a consensus and appeal the case.

“If he (accused) had accepted that he committed the offense earlier, this case would have been settled amicably, but he did not accept and now it is a legal process. It has affected me as a mother and I was the one who provided treatment for the victim because the child was not sleeping well and had a lot of problems,” she explained. “He is the son of my uncle but no one came from our family apart from me who attended the trial. I am not happy, it is sorrowful, but I will meet with the victim’s family and see whether we can appeal.”