Home Breaking News International Court Slams Julius Chelimo with Aggravated Defilement Charges

International Court Slams Julius Chelimo with Aggravated Defilement Charges

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The International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala has confirmed charges of aggravated defilement and child trafficking against jailed Bukwo District LC 5 Chairperson, Julius Moses Chelimo. Presided over by Lady Justice Alice Komuhangi Khaukha, the court confirmed three charges against him and referred his case file to a panel of three High Court Judges for trial, acknowledging the prosecution’s evidence as sufficient to warrant further proceedings.

The prosecution alleges that Chelimo, while serving as the LCV Chairman of Bukwo District, engaged in a love affair with a 15-year-old student from Sebei College Tegeres in Bukwo, enticing her with material goods and causing her to abandon school and disappear from her parents. He purportedly took her to various locations in Bukwo District, where he engaged in sexual intercourse with her. Upon the victim’s return and disclosure of the events to her parents, Chelimo allegedly harbored her in Budaka to prevent her from reuniting with her family.

Chelimo denies the charges, asserting that they are politically motivated. However, Justice Komuhangi ruled that the evidence presented by the prosecution, including the victim’s birth certificate and corroborating documents, sufficiently demonstrated that she was underage at the time of the alleged offenses. In her ruling on confirmation of charges, Justice Komuhangi said the victim was 15 years of age in 2021 and 16 years of age in 2022 given the prosecution’s evidence of a Birth Certificate which shows that the Victim was born on 29th September 2006.

“This is corroborated by Police Form 3A Forensic Report from Mbale General Clinic Laboratory and Forensic Medicines, Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) results slip which also indicates the date of birth as 29th September 2006 which all show that at the time of sexual exploitation, the Victim was below the age of 18 years,” said Komuhangi.

She said that given this, it was her finding that the disclosed evidence was sufficient to prove that the victim was aged below 18 years at the time the offense was allegedly committed. “Further, the disclosed evidence also shows that the Accused transported and harbored the Victim at the home of one Chiplangat Edward in Kapsarur Sub-County in Bukwo District where he also had sex with her several times,” added Komuhangi.

Komuhangi relied on the statement of the victim who narrated that she was picked by Chelimo and taken to his home in Bukwo District and that he could keep her at his sister’s home in Budaka though she added that most times, the victim was always with her tormentor in his home in Bukwo and he could not allow her to go back to her parents.

“This therefore confirms that the Accused harboured the Victim in his dwelling and even where she was harbored in other dwellings than the Accused’s, it was at the instance of the Accused and it is from those dwellings that the Accused is said to have sexually exploited her as per the disclosed evidence. The Judge has further observed that it is true that the Victim stated in her statement that she had a boyfriend called Amidu Anthony with whom she stayed in Kampala and Entebbe for some weeks and that it is also true that she left the home of Amidu at the Request of the Chelimo.

“However, she also revealed that the Accused was also her boyfriend and when he picked her up from Kampala, he spent a night with her in Mbale in a hotel room and the two shared a bed”, added Komuhangi. As such, Komuhangi was convinced that the disclosed evidence was sufficient to prove to the required standard that Chelimo, being in a position of authority over the Victim performed a sexual act on her and also recruited the Victim, transported or harbored her in different places within Bukwo District to sexually exploit her.

The Electoral Commission maintains that Chelimo is still the legitimate Chairperson LC 5 of Bukwo District, despite the attempt by the Local Government Minister, Raphael Magyezi, to install a new LC5 Chairperson, Merisa Cheptegei, in November 2022. Chelimo had previously resigned on October 24th, 2022, citing personal reasons. He has been on remand since 2022 having been denied bail on different occasions.

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