Lira High Court has convicted a 23-year-old suspect for rape.
Bryan Okello, a resident of Dokolo district committed the offense in May 2018 when he was 19 years old.
He and his friends gang-raped Miriam Apio, a resident of the same area.
The court found that on 21st May 2018, the convict while in the company of two other boys waylaid the victim when she was going for work, dragged her to the nearby Atama Swamp, and gang-raped her.
The other two suspects identified as Jimmy Akena and Okodi Brian alias Black man were immediately arrested while the convict was on the run but he was arrested several months after the incident.
While appearing before Justice Duncan Gaswaga, the Lira Resident Judge on Tuesday morning, Okello pleaded guilty to the offense and was immediately convicted on his own plea of guilt.
The convict pleaded for mercy from both court and his victim saying he is now a reformed person.
“I want to apologize to this court and the victim in this crime,” he pleaded. “I also want to apologize to all the women in this country for dehumanizing them but I want them to know that I have learnt a lot from remand.”
But Brian Kalinaki, the state prosecutor told the court that the crime was committed in an organized manner meaning the convict had premeditated and thus he should be severely punished.
He argued: “My Lord this offense can even attract a death sentence because this boy and his friends raped an innocent woman who had no business with them. My Lord, I want to bring to the attention of this court that this crime of rape is on the rise and I pray that this honorable court should give a deterrent sentence to the convict which will serve as a lesson to the rest of the public.”
However, Herbert Walusimbi, the defense lawyer argued that the convict should be given a lighter sentence because he committed the offense under peer influence.
“The convict is a first-time offender who is now remorseful because he committed the crime due to peer influence and he was drunk at that time. My Lord, I pray that this court gives him a lenient sentence and the defense proposes 5 years.”
The convict was remanded till Thursday 17th March when he will appear in court for sentencing.