By Banabasi Kamusime
KISORO – A 22-year-old – Man in Kisoro District was found guilty today of aggravated defilement by the Kabale High Court sitting in Kisoro under Section 129 (3) and (4) (a) and (c) of the Penal Code Act.
The individual in question has been identified as Kwitonda Ronald, a resident of Gacaca village, Buhumbu parish, in Busanza Sub County. At the time of his arrest, he was a student at the Kabaya Tailoring Institute and served as a youth leader at Kinanira Catholic Church.
The incident reportedly took place in the early hours of January 1, 2020, while at Busenyagabo village, Busengo parish, in Nyarubuye Sub County. Kwitonda Ronald is alleged to have forcefully engaged in sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old girl, causing injuries to her head during the struggle.
The victim, who was also a youth member at Kinanira Catholic Church, was returning home from night prayers that marked the beginning of the New Year.
Kwitonda vehemently denied the accusations, claiming that he was at home sleeping with his brother at the time of the alleged incident.
Presiding over the case, Kabale High Court Circuit Resident Judge Hon. Justice Emokor Samuel emphasized that the evidence presented by the prosecution and the testimony of their witnesses incontrovertibly demonstrated Kwitonda’s guilt in defiling the victim.
Justice Emokor further noted that medical reports confirmed the convict’s HIV-positive status, and he had knowingly exposed the minor to the risk of infection.
State Prosecutor Ainomugisha Christopher requested a stringent sentence from the Judge, emphasizing the severity of the crime and the lasting trauma inflicted upon the victim due to the potential HIV infection.
In contrast, the defense lawyer appealed for leniency, considering Kwitonda’s youth, his status as a student, and his role as a youth leader in his church.
During the proceedings, Bizimana Didas, the father of the victim, expressed his desire for justice. He highlighted that his daughter, a hopeful P.6 pupil, had suffered immensely due to the trauma and had discontinued her education as a result.
The convict humbly prayed for divine guidance as the Judge prepared to deliver the final ruling.
Reserving his verdict, the Resident Judge announced that his decision would be issued on August 11, 2023. Aggravated defilement in Uganda’s legal framework is punishable by a maximum sentence of death.
Meanwhile, Gasigazi Geoffrey, a Boda Boda Rider in his 40s, was recently sentenced to 18 years in prison by the same court for aggravated defilement. The incident involved a 15-year-old girl in 2019. Both Gasigazi and the victim were residents of Murora Sub County.
The court found that Gasigazi had provided the victim a lift on his motorcycle but then intentionally took her to his residence, where she remained overnight.
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