An American missionary, Eric Tuininga, found guilty of defiling a 14-year-old Ugandan girl, who was under his care at the Orthodox Presbyterian church based in Mbale District, has been sentenced to 10 years in a US Federal Prison.
Mr Tuininga, 45, of Milledgeville Georgia was ordered to pay $20,000(about Shs75m) in restitution by US District Judge Marc. T. Treadwell and spend a lifetime on supervised release as a registered sex offender after getting out of prison.
It is not clear whether the money will be paid to Mr Tuininga’s unnamed victim. Uganda does not have a national crime victim assistance office and government does not provide monetary compensation to victims of crime. However, courts have the authority to order the perpetrator to pay restitution.In February, Mr Tuininga pleaded guilty and was taken to jail pending sentencing on. He faced up to 30 years in jail, according to reports at the time.
Several US media outlets reported that the recommended sentence for Mr Tuininga was seven to nine years. However, the judge gave him a 10-year sentence after hearing testimony from the victim’s caretaker and some of Tuininga’s family members. Tuininga’s lawyer had requested a sentence of five years.
“I want to recognise the true bravery displayed by the Ugandan girl for speaking out when she was assaulted by a trusted person of power from another country, courageously seeking justice across continents,” US Attorney Peter D. Leary is quoted in a statement. “Law enforcement, both abroad and here at home, took on a challenging international case,” he added.