19-year-old arrested for rape of minor

A 19-year-old man has been detained by the Thimphu police after he allegedly abused a 16 years old minor sexually.

The case was initially reported as a ‘Missing of Person’ case as the victim had gone missing from her house in Thimphu on July 13. The next day, the mother of the victim had reported to police for help. After two days the victim had returned home and when the police were informed about her arrival she was sent to the Jigme Dorji WAngchuck National Referral Hospital for medical checkup.

During investigation, the allegedly accused and the victim confessed to having sexual intercourse and said it was consensual sex.

Meanwhile, the two of them had met through social media and had become friends. They had known each other for 10 days. The victim had been staying in the suspect’s house in Babesa. The suspect works for one of the hotels in Thimphu and the victim is a class IX student in one of the schools in Thimphu. 

The section 183 of the Penal Code of Bhutan 2004 states, “A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of rape of a child above the age of 12 years, if the defendant has sexual intercourse with a child between the age of 12 to 18 years”. This applies even if the act was consensual.

Meanwhile, the amended section 183 of the Penal Code (Amendment) Act of Bhutan 2011 states that, “A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of rape of a child above the age of 12 years if the defendant commits any act of sexual intercourse against a child between the ages of 12 to 18 years. However, consensual sex between children of 16 years and above shall not be deemed as rape.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu