SYRACUSE, NY (The Post-Standard) – A Salina man, arrested four years ago for having sex with an 11-year-old girl, was finally sentenced today after years in a psychiatric hospital.
Welken Majok, 42, pleaded guilty to predatory sexual assault against a child, the state’s most severe sex crime. The charge was enhanced from rape due to the girl’s age.
Majok, who was brought to the U.S. by the United Nations from South Sudan, committed the crime in August 2014, days after being released from jail for a drunken driving conviction.
Prosecutor Jordan McNamara said there’s no evidence Majok committed other abuse beyond the rape involving the 11-year-old girl.
But Majok’s case has been delayed for years by psychotic breakdowns, which included voices that he said told him that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Pope Francis were on TV seeking his release.
Majok spent years following his arrest in a secure psychiatric hospital and twice failed competency exams. In the past year, his condition improved due to medication and he was brought back to court for trial.
Majok’s case was delayed because he did not like the specter of possible life in prison. But he eventually pleaded guilty, anyway.
His lawyer, Anne Meadvin, said Majok was in the country legally. But it’s unclear how immigration officials will proceed as he nears his first parole hearing 10 years from now. He could be transferred to immigration detention at that point, she said.
Majok did not address the court about the crime itself. But he maintained there’s no reason for him to be deported.
“Due to the nature of the crime I’ve been accused of, it’s extremely dangerous” to be deported, he said. “There’s no reason for deportation.”
State Supreme Court Justice Gordon Cuffy corrected him: “Not alleged to have done, you pleaded guilty.”
With that, the judge sentenced Majok to 10 years to life in prison.