The Presiding Judge of Criminal Court “E” at the Temple of Justice, Joseph Fayiah, has sentenced a 41-year-old man to one more year imprisonment at the Monrovia Central Prison, after serving nine years, for raping a five-year-old girl.
Handing down the final ruling Thursday, Judge Fayiah said the defendant was 32-years-old at the time the Gardnersville Magisterial Court sentenced him to ten years in prison, while the victim was five-year-old, adding that he will serve his remaining one year in prison.
Defendant Theophilus Tamba was in March 2007 arrested and indicted for raping the little girl. He was later forwarded to the Gardnersville Magisterial Court for trial.
During the reading of the indictment he pleaded not guilty to the crime.
Judge Fayiah further stated that after the case was forwarded to Criminal Court “E”, lawyers representing the defendant on September 15, 2015 entered into a plea bargain in line with the statutory provision contained in the Liberian Code of Law revised.
Plea bargain in criminal proceeding is a negotiation between the defendant and his attorney, on one side, and the prosecutor, on the other, in which the defendant agrees to plead “guilty” or “no contest” to a crime, in return for reduction of the severity of the charges, dismissal of some of the charges and the prosecutor’s
willingness to recommend a particular sentence, or some other benefit to the defendant.
However, Prosecution subsequently received and took possession of the original copies of the plea bargain agreement and several other similar plea bargain agreements for review but did not return them to court until March 17, 2016.
Meanwhile, Judge Fayiah has ordered the Clerk of the Court to issue a commitment of conviction and give same to the Sheriff commanding him to have the defendant committed at the Monrovia Central Prison consistent with the final judgment predicated upon the plea bargain executed, and he shall serve one year, excluding the nine years already served.