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