Man gets nine years for rape of a minor

The Wangduephodrang dzongkhag court on 5 April pronounced a prison term of nine years on a 29-year old man from Punakha for the offence of rape of a minor, a child above 12 years on the night of 1 February.

Though the convict had argued that it was a consensual act, the victim was a minor, so the convict was booked under section 183 of the Penal Code of Bhutan, 2004.

The victim’s elder sister had lodged a complaint with the police on 2 February, stating that her younger sister was missing. A search team deployed by police found the girl in Bajothang town. She had not gone home since  1 February.

It was learnt, out of fear that her sister might scold her, the 16-year old had not gone home. The victim told the police that she had spent the night with the suspect and was forced to have sex with him. However, the suspect said it was consensual sex.

It was also learnt that the victim and suspect had met through phone calls.

The victim who is a school drop-out and a divorcee was married for seven months. She is from Trashigang, Yangneer gewog.

The suspect who is married was detained on 4 February and is an employee of the Punatshangchhu project in Wangduephodrang.

Chencho Dema / Thimphu

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  1. ‘The victim who is ….. a divorcee was married for seven months’ and ‘the man gets nine years for rape of a minor.” Does that mean the minor’s ex-husband and the minor are also behind bars for sleeping together -ex husband for sleeping with the minor, and the minor for indulging in sexual activity before the age of consent.

    In many countries, the age of consent is lowered to 16 and some even below, e.g. China, Japan, and host of other countries. The time may be right to revisit this particular law. Conduct some studies and see if we may have to consider lowering the age of consent. It may be possible that many lose their virginity before reaching the legal age of consent.

  2. even the law doesnt accept consensual sexual activities.
    the law in the country is gender biased. men are down under the law and women above.

  3. If the consent age is lowered to 16, there will be victims under 14 years. What a PITY!

  4. 14 may be young but 15 is ok. Traditionally human being gets into full capacity to think what is right or wrong for him or her at 15. If (s)he cant think by that age it is said to be unproductive to family or society. “LO CHENGALA YOUNG NA YOUNG, LO CHENGALA MAYOUGNA NEYOUNG” what Tibetan would say in the past. These days children have high exposure anything with good education and even physical growth better than the past because of the medical facilities and good diet.

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