A special court in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bho district on Tuesday sentenced a former MLA to 25 years in jail for raping a minor, NDTV reported. The court also fined him Rs 15 lakh, according to The Hindu.

Julius Dorphang has been charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act.

The POCSO court also announced a life sentence for three others in this case. They were charged for attempting to push the minor into prostitution.

Dorphang, the former founder of the militant group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council, raped the minor in December 2016.

He had quit the organisation – banned twice by the government – in 2007 by surrendering to the police. He contested as an independent candidate for the Mawhati Assembly seat from Ri-Bhoi district in 2013 and won.

In 2016, the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights had registered two complaints of sexual abuse against Dorphang with the East Khasi Hills district police. They said that he had abused the minor on two occasions.

Following the allegations, Dorphang went into hiding. He was apprehended in January 2017 from the suburbs of Guwahati in Assam and put in Nongpoh district jail.

His counsel Kishore Ch Gautam said they would challenge the judgement in the Meghalaya High Court.