29 June 2012

Uganda: Priest Gets 10 Years in Jail for Defilement

A priest attached to Pakwach catholic parish in Nebbi Diocese has been jailed for 10 years for defiling a 15 year old girl.

High court Judge Justice Yasin Nyanzi, on Thursday sent Rev. Fr. Santos Constatino Wapokura , 47, to prison after finding him guilty.

Court heard that Wapokura who is also HIV-positive, defiled the girl three times between November 2009 and March 2010. The girl was a house maid at Pakwach catholic mission.

The girl in the recorded statement said that Wapokura would often ask her to go to his house, where he would force her into sex.

"At first I feared to tell my parents until I told Irene Adocrach, one of my friends who encouraged me to report the matter to my parents," said part of the girl's statement read by Justice Nyanzi.

This according to court prompted her father Santo Onyai to report the matter to police leading to Wapokura's arrest. Wapokura had been on remand since May 5, 2010.

"I respect the decision of this court and am sorry for what ever happened. Let the will of God be done in my life," Wapokura said in court before the judge passed the sentence.

He added that "In my humility, I request that the sentence be lenient so that I may go back to help my mother who is 80 years old now and also take care of children who are up to now stranded at home due to lack of school fees."

"Am also a bit sickly. A Long sentence may risk my life to the extent that I may die before finishing it," Wapokura pleaded.

"I have heard the convict telling the court that he is sorry. Having heard all that, including your health status, I therefore sentence you to ten years in prison," Justice Nyanzi ruled.

According to Nyanzi, cases of defilement being rampant especially among teachers against their pupils, priests against their followers, parents against their children and masters against their servants, the sentence will act as a lesson to others.

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