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Soldier sent to jail for kidnapping, molesting teenage girl

Author: Michael Daniel | Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Sgt. Garang Deng Kuol, 30, bows his head in shame after the announcement of verdict on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | Michael Daniel/Eye Radio

The Gender-Based Violence court in Juba has sentenced a soldier to 10 years in prison for abducting and molesting a 14-year-old schoolgirl.

Garang Deng Kuol is a sergeant in the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces.

The special court heard that the he abducted the girl from Thongpiny in July last year and kept her at New Site in Juba for one week with the intention of marrying her.

In his defense, the 30-year-old man argued that he did what he did in accordance with his culture, which does not criminalize child marriage.

However, Presiding Judge Francis Amum Awin found Deng Kuol guilty of defilement, according to Child Act, 2008.

“The convict must pay to the victim amount of SSP 500,000 as reparation through the civil procedure,” he pronounced the verdict.

According to the Act, every child has a right to protection from early marriage, forced circumcision, scarification, tattooing, piercing, tooth removal, or any other cultural rite, or custom.

It also protects every child against traditional practice that is likely to negatively affect the child’s life, health, welfare, dignity or physical, emotional, psychological, mental and intellectual development.

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