In my oppinion the paladin in question acted prudently and justly given the situation at hand. I think there can be little doubt as to the deceased's guilt in the several heinous wrongs that had been brought upon the girl - kidnapping and multiple rape being the most obvious. When the paladin came upon the man about to further brutalize the girl, the man did not pose a threat to the paladin. He did, however, pose a very real and probable threat to the restrained child. Rather than risk possible harm to the girl, the paladin cut the man down.
The paladin chose not to use non-lethal force upon the man, and frankly I feel that it was well within his right to decide whether or not to do so. Were the situation different, and the child not immediatly at risk, non-lethal measures would have proven more gainful, as the wrong-doer could then be restrained and questioned about any possible accomplices or other victims he had stored elsewhere. But that wasn't the situation that was given.
Some may speak of capturing the criminal and bringing him to a public trial to recieve his punishment. Let me preface my following comments by saying that amongst my other duties, I am a servant of the Lord of Justice, Tyr. I have had to deal with similar situations in the past where punishment had to be handed out without the luxury of a detailed judiciary system to dole out exactly what amercement fit the exact combination of crimes commited. That being said, most punishments tend to fall into one of several common categories no matter where you go:
Monetary fines or recompense.
A fine or public humiliation would be ... inadequate ... given the crimes this man visited upon his victim. Laughably so. Maiming would probably had sufficed had he commited only one of his misdeeds; his eyes struck had he only kidnapped the girl, his manhood seared off with irons had he commited a single rape. The fact that he performed several crimes, and their nature, would mean that any punishment by maiming would just compound upon one another until such punishment would be tantamount to execution. Frankly, the man's actions set him to die, be it by headsman's axe, hot irons, or a paladin's wrath.
A public trial would indeed likely serve to strengthen local order's protection of the populace by demonstrating just what happens to you when you do evil unto your fellow man. But that ultimatly doesn't matter; such a public message was not the paladin's concern when he came upon the rapist and his victim - his only concern was the welfare of the child, and rightly so.
So again, in summation, I believe that the paladin acted in a manner that is befitting of a soldier of the light; protecting the weak and innocent from the depredations of the wicked. I would, and do find him innocent of any misconduct.
As I was also requested to provide what punishmen I feel would be appropriate should a verdict of guilty be reached, I will endeavor to do so. Firstly, I do not feel that a stripping of the paladin's status as such should be levied, whatsoever. The paladin did not commit an evil act, he did not grossly violate his code of conduct, and so on. I would move that a fitting punishment would be for a temporary reduction or inaccessability of certain powers to be weighed unto the paladin until such time that he completes a task that is fitting to the situation that landed him in such hot water in the first place.
Therefor, my suggestion for possible punishment of the paladin would be either:
A) In the event that the child victim has no family or guardian, that the paladin be responsible for the care and upbringing of said child, with special attention being given that the child be raised to be an ethical and meritous young woman. Until such time that she is able to take care of herself as a capable young adult, the paladin should have no access to his holy mount. This is to represent that the paladin has chosen to bear the burden of the girl's welfare himself rather than rely on others to render aid.
B) In the event that the child is possessed of family or guardian, then the paladin should instead be charged with insuring that the dead rapist did not have any accomplices or other victims hidden away elsewhere. He would likewise be required to see any such men brought to justice, and any innocents in their custody released and tended to. During this ordeal, and until such time as it is complete to his god's satisfaction, the paladin should have no access to his ability to detect evil. This would represent that if that paladin did indeed wish to enter into this situation blindly, then he will see it thru to its completion in the exact same manner.
I have said my peace and look forward to your responses, one and all. Thank you.