The second hearing on the case involving the infamous Bjemina vice principal (VP) will be held on Monday 11th June at the family and child bench. The 39-year-old accused VP was charged with nine charges; 8 child molestation cases and one attempt to rape of a child above 12 years of age by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).
The eight girls are class V and VI students studying in a charity school in Bjemina, Khasadrapchu, Thimphu. They stated that the VP molested them in class during lessons to solve Mathematics problems.
The VP had nicknames for the girls in his class and he even asked them to dance for him in class.
Meanwhile, during the preliminary hearing, which took place on 15th May, the VP denied all the allegations made against him. The accused told the court that he did not do any of the things that he is being charged with.
The VP said that the location of his office is in an open area where people can walk around can see him, and therefore, there is no way that he can attempt to rape. He also claimed that being a Maths teacher, it is part of his job to give the students questions to solve.
In addition, VP also claimed that the girl who complained must have been influenced by the other girls to talk against him. OAG said that there will be a rebuttal on 11 June, and that they are preparing for the day.
“One can lie and two can lie, but not the whole class for him to deny the allegations,” the OAG said.
OAG also said that they are going to plead for the harshest punishment as he is an ex-convict and that they are going to argue on that point.
In 2004, the VP was convicted for 5 years under Thrimthey Chenmo. It was in a relation to statutory rape of an underage girl, whereby she gave birth to his child. His act was discovered when he failed to look after the victim and the child, the victim then appealed to the court for ‘soethey.’
Since the girl was under 18 years, he was convicted to 5 years prison term under the old Thrimzhung Chenmo, whereby he was kept under detention for 2 years and the rest of the three years was paid for in the form of ‘Thrimthue’ in 2007.
In 2011, a vacancy was floated in the current school (charity school) in Bjemina whereby he was the only one to apply for the post. He was hired as a Mathematics teacher. Starting from 2017, he started molesting the girl students in the classes.
It is learnt that the students had informed the other teachers in the school about the molestation, however, the teachers did not react as felt that the student were just bluffing.
The attempt to rape of a child above 12 years of age is a third degree of felony, with a prison term between 5 years to 9 years, while the prison term for molestation is between 3 years to 5 years.
OAG said the accused will be charged for each individual molestation case, which adds to a minimum prison term of 27 years to a maximum of 45 years. In addition, he will be charged with an additional 5 to 9 years for attempt to rape of a child above 12 years of age.
However, OAG said that the court will decide on his conviction term as per the evidences submitted.
The 39-year-old vice principal was arrested on 6th April after a complaint was lodged by one of the victim’s grandfather on 5 April. The accused had requested for bail, however, it was denied due to his past criminal record.