In additional evidence against the anesthetic technician, Jampel Rinchen (30), the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital’s (JDWNRH) CCTV camera captured the Jampel taking the victim to the Pre-Anesthesia Check-up (PAC) room at around 11.35 pm.
The cameras also captured him coming out alone from the room after around 25 minutes, leaving the victim behind.
A source also said that the camera also corroborated the victim’s statements and showed how she suffered after she regained consciousness in the hospital corridor.
The camera shows that after Jampel Rinchen left and some time elapsed, the woman came out of the room in a highly dizzy state and she with difficulty got to a waiting bench on the corridor, where she fell and vomited.
The victim earlier said that she found herself sitting on a waiting chair in the corridor after regaining consciousness. The victim said she was drowsy and had blurred vision and she also vomited. The victim said that, after a while, she saw a woman walking around whereby she called out for help. The woman who happened to be a doctor took her to the emergency ward.
The source said that evidence captured on the CCTV camera would be more than enough to prove everything.
The evidence is important because though the technician confessed to the police to drugging and having sexual intercourse with the victim, there have been many instances in the past where the accused, after getting legal advice, have changed their statements or confessions in court.
Also, though the technician claims that the drug was only to calm her and the sexual act was consensual the CCTV camera clearly shows that the victim had been heavily drugged.
The victim in her complaint did not mention being drugged with her consent or agreeing to ‘consensual’ sexual intercourse after being drugged.
The CCTV evidence is all the more important because a medical check on the woman showed that nothing conclusive could be found except for an injection mark.
This is in the context that that the woman was drugged with a powerful anesthetic drug Fentanyl which is 75 to 10,000 times more powerful than morphine, the technician had medical knowledge and the fact that he got more then enough time with the passed out victim to not only commit the crime but also to cover his tracks and remove himself from the scene.
Another important evidence is that the Jampel in his statement to the police had claimed that he had called the woman for blood transfusion and it was during this time when according to him the voluntary drugging and ‘sexual intercourse’ happened.
However, the JDWNRH while investigating possible negligence by the nurse who sent the victim to the technician found that the victim was not required to give any blood in the first place.
The nurse also clarified that she only got a call from the technician asking her to send the victim to him without assigning any medical reason.
Doctor Gosar said, “That day, when the suspect had called the nurse on duty to send the attendant (victim) to him, he did did not provide any reason. In this situation, we would consider it as her negligence, had the victim been called under medical reason like blood transfusion because no nurse on duty are allowed to forward any patient without permission from a doctor”.
Therefore, he said that, they found no reason to charge the nurse for negligence.
It has also come to light that the technician did not test positive for any drugs or alcohol in his system when he committed the crime which means he committed the crime with full consciousness and planning.
The 28-year old female victim from Paro was in the hospital as an attendant to her relative who was admitted in the surgical ward. The incident took place on 5th April night when the victim was called into the surgical ward.
The suspect made a call to the surgical room asking the nurse on duty to send the victim to the place near Operation Theater (OT). According to the victim’s statement to the police, she met the suspect who was in a Blue Scrub (operation uniform).
He took her into the Pre-Anesthesia Check-up (PAC) room and told her that she needs to donate blood for her patient.
Thereafter, Jampel Rinchen checked her blood pressure and pretended to prepare for drawing her blood but did not actually do so. She said that instead the suspect then injected a white fluid after which she became unconscious and since then she could not remember anything.
The forensic medicine department of JDWNRH called the police at 9 am on 6th April the next day for a possible sexual assault case. Thimphu police then apprehended the 30-year old man from his residence on the same day.
Police earlier said that Jampel Rinchen has a past record of stealing TV from the hospital. However, the case was sorted out internally (JDWNRH).
The Medical Superintendent said that, hospital management has temporarily deregistered the technician from the Bhutan Medical and Health Council (BMHC). BMHC registers all hospital staff working in country and so if any person is deregistered from the council, the person will not be allowed to work in the country.
He, however, said that suspect will only be permanently deregistered and terminated after the final judgment from the court.
He also said that, though suspect had stolen a TV from the hospital in the past it was sorted out internally and he was let go with a final warning from the management. He said, that the hospital never expected such a misconduct from him as a civil servant.
“He now might have to bear double the penalty as he not has only breached the code of conduct of the civil service but he also has misused the drug. However, let us see what will be his final judgment”, he added.
He said, it is very tough to judge a person at the beginning. He said, “Though we want to give 100 percent security with all staff having good character, it is difficult to study the character of staff at first.”
“We cannot keep checking the past history of every individual”, he added.
In addition, he said that, hospital is a public place where more than 1000 people visit a day and so it is difficult to stop any crime.
He said that, hospital alone cannot address every issue. “People must also comply with the rules and regulation of the hospital”, he said.
“None of the security measures in hospital worked well as planned”, he said, adding that, people are not being cooperative as they misuse the attendant card, they never follow visiting hours and the have more than two attendants.
However, while the superintendent said this both the recent heinous crimes in the hospital have involved hospital staff. The first last year was a former hospital employee residing in the hospital beating a security guard to death and in the current case it was an anesthetic technician who called, drugged and sexually assaulted a surgical patient’s attendant.
Nevertheless, the superintendent said that, they are taking various measures to prevent such a crime from happening again in the future.
He said the hospital will be installing more CCTV cameras in many other areas in the hospital and they are in a process of having their own trained security guards which have already been approved by the government and RCSC.
In addition, he said that, they are also planning to discuss ethical issues, group wise, among the medical staff in the hospital and they are also drafting rules on how to prevent such things from happening again.
Jamphel Rinchen is from Gangzur, Lhuntse.