73-year-old man sentenced to 15 years in prison for rape of minor

The Punakha police recorded three statutory rape cases in 2020

A 73-year-old man from Barp gewog in Punakha has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Punakha district court on April 5 for the offence of statuary rape.

According to section 181 of the Penal Code (Amendment) Act of Bhutan 2011, a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of statutory rape if the defendant engages in any act of sexual intercourse, whatever its nature with a child below 12 years, or an incompetent person, either with or without knowledge of the other person being a child or incompetent person.

The amended section 182 states that the offence of statutory rape shall be an offence of a felony of a first-degree, which is punishable by a prison term of 15 years to life.

The victim was nine years old and studying in class II when the incident occurred. The incident was reported to police by the mother of the victim on October 6 last year after the victim’s mother found out about it. The victim complained of stomach pain and she was then taken to the Wangduephodrang district hospital on October 6, 2020 for a medical checkup. The medical checkup revealed that the girl was sexually assaulted.

Although the exact time and date of the crime are not known, it was disclosed to the police by the victim’s mother that the convict on numerous occasions had sexually assaulted her daughter during her absence. The incident had happened in 2020 and 2019.

The convict, who is a neighbor and farmer by occupation, was then arrested by the Punakha police.

Despite the circumstantial shreds of evidence, the convict had denied the allegations.

During the preliminary investigation, some incriminating photos related to the case were obtained from the convict’s phone.

Meanwhile, the Punakha police recorded three statutory rape cases in 2020, whereby two were convicted for 15 years each, while the third was acquitted.

Last year of the rape of a child above 12 years of age, two cases were reported of which one has been convicted for 11 years, while the second case is still under investigation.

One case of rape was reported which is still under investigation in 2020, while one case of criminal attempt to rape was also reported whereby the convict was convicted for two years and six months by the Punakha district court

Chencho Dema from Punakha