A grave violation of trust and safety unfolded in Terekeka County, Central Equatoria State earlier this year. The Gender-based Violence (GBV) Court in Juba has now delivered justice for a traumatic incident involving a minor. Charles Taban James faced severe allegations of raping a 15-year-old girl, an act that resulted in her unfortunate pregnancy.
As the case unraveled, the evidence mounted against James. He was tried under the provisions of Section 247 of the South Sudan Penal Code Act 2008. After a thorough examination, Judge Andrew Joshua Ladu concluded that the prosecution’s evidence was irrefutable. This compelling proof left no doubt that James had indeed committed the heinous crime.
However, before finalizing his judgment, Judge Ladu extended an opportunity for James to present any mitigating factors that might call for a more lenient sentence. Seizing this chance, James appealed to the judge, mentioning his ill health and pleading for mercy.
Yet, a relative of the young victim remained steadfast, urging the judge to uphold the full weight of the law. After taking both perspectives into consideration, Judge Ladu pronounced a decisive verdict. Charles Taban James would serve 10 years in prison, starting from 1 September 2023. As an added penalty, he was directed to pay SSP 1 million to the victim’s family, further emphasizing the severity of his crime.
In his closing remarks, Judge Ladu emphasized the legal rights of the convicted. James retains the right to contest the court’s decision, a provision ensuring that justice remains both fair and transparent in South Sudan.
What was the nature of the crime in Terekeka County?
Charles Taban James was convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl, which resulted in her pregnancy.
Under which section was the accused tried?
He was tried under Section 247 of the South Sudan Penal Code Act 2008.
What was the final judgment of the GBV Court in Juba?
Charles Taban James was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was ordered to pay SSP 1 million to the victim’s family.
Did the accused seek any leniency?
Yes, James mentioned his health conditions and pleaded for a milder sentence.
Is there an option for appeal?
Yes, the convicted individual has the legal right to appeal the court’s judgment.