SPLA soldier sentenced to prison for molesting a minor

The SPLA General Court Martial has dismissed a soldier and sentenced him to two years imprisonment for sexual harassment of a child in Ayachi County of Imatong State.

On Monday, the Chairperson of Pajok Women Association in Ayachi County told Eye radio that three residents of the area were arrested for reporting the case.

Betty Okech said the three, including the mother of the five year old child, were brought to Juba for questioning.

The SPLA Spokesperson, Brigadier Lul Ruai, said a court hearing was held on Wednesday and a verdict reached.

He said the soldier belonged to the 7th infantry division deployed in Pajok.

“On the 28th of August 2017, he was accused of sexual harassment of a minor and as a result he was arrested and detained at SPLA barracks in Pajok. Initially the issue was settled under Acholi customary law,” Lul said.

“The accused was required to pay or to buy a goat which was going to be slaughtered as a result of cleansing rituals. He agreed in principle to buy the goat. However, he could not buy it immediately because of economic hardship.”

Brig. Gen Lul added that the soldier, in the rank of a private, was also fined 30,000 South Sudanese Pounds by the court as compensation to the family of the child and an additional 5,000 pounds to the court.

His sentence, Lul said, is in accordance with the Penal Code and the SPLA Act 2009.

The accused has 15 days to make an appeal.