The High Court in Jinja has sentenced a 25-year-old man to 20 years behind bars for deliberately infecting an eight-year-old girl with the deadly human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Godfrey Musere appeared before Lady Justice Anglin Flavia Senoga on the charge of aggravated defilement to which he pleaded guilty.
"Much as you have pleaded guilty of the offence, you committed a dreadful act of defiling a girl fit to be your sister, instead of guiding her, you turned her into a partner hence exposing her to the risk of acquiring HIV," the judge ruled.
According to medical reports from Kamuli Hospital, the accused was subjected to HIV tests which turned out positive.
In her ruling on Monday, the Judge Senoga pointed out that the offence was rife in the area and therefore a need for a deterrent sentence.
A maximum sentence for aggravated defilement is life imprisonment.
"This offence is rampant in this area. The court owes it to the public to send a message that such acts cannot be pardoned, and will offer a rough sentence for you to realize your mistake hence deter those contemplating the same because young girls need to be protected," the judge ruled.
The judge advised prosecution to appeal if they were not satisfied with the verdict.
Court heard that on November 26, 2010, Musere, a resident of Mutekanga village Nakulyaku parish Nabwigulu sub-county, Kamuli district found the victim at her parent's home and directed her to follow him with intentions of sending her to the nearby shop.
The accused took the victim's hand in his but as they approached a coffee plantation, he dragged her down, forcefully ripped off her under garments and defiled the helpless girl.
After the cruel act, Musere gave the victim sh100 and warned her never to disclose to anyone the incident that had just happened.
However, when the girl returned after a futile search by her relatives, her mother noticed that she was limping.
On examining her, the mother recognized semen in her private parts, indicating that she was defiled.
Upon closer examination, the victim revealed what had transpired, linking Musere to it which prompted her mother to report the matter to Kamuli police.
Police immediately hunted down and arrested Musere, leading to his subsequent prosecution.