Dieudonne Ishimwe common known as Prince Kid was found guilty by the High Court in Nyamirambo on charges of soliciting sexual favors and rape.
He was sentenced to five years in prison, and a fine of Rwf 2 million, on Friday, October 13.
The former organizer of Miss Rwanda, Ishimwe, was accused of committing crimes against some of the Miss Rwanda contestants.
Delivering the verdict, the presiding judge emphasized that the lower court had overlooked testimonies provided by the victims to the investigation and prosecution bodies. Instead, they had placed more importance on letters previously notarized by the victims and the testimonies given in court, in which the victims claimed Ishimwe never abused them.
The presiding judge pointed out that the High Court conducted a thorough examination of all the evidence presented, aligning it with the relevant legal provisions and referencing prior verdicts in similar cases.
Finally, the court ruled in favour of considering the testimonies of the victims and witnesses before the Investigation and Prosecution bodies in relation to the charges of rape and soliciting sexual favours. These testimonies, according to the judge, provided essential insights into the details of how the crime was committed, among other critical criteria.
Previously, the prosecution had sought a 16-year jail sentence, but the presiding judge noted that they imposed a lesser sentence as it was the defendant’s first-time offense.
The presiding judges did not state whether an appeal is permitted.
In 2022, the Nyarugenge Intermediate court, acquitted Ishimwe arguing that the prosecutors failed to present compelling evidence to the court to secure a conviction of the Miss Rwanda organizer on any of the offences. However, the prosecution lodged an appeal.
The appeal, filed at the High Court, was based on several grounds, including the argument that the intermediate court judges disregarded crucial evidence, such as witness testimonies and victims’ statements.
From the first instance, Ishimwe pleaded not guilty to all charges.