Tour operator, Dorji Tshering, 39 accused of assault and sexual harassment of a 29 year old tourist, a foreign national of Melbourne, Australia received a prison term of four years and two months of imprisonment. The verdict was passed on 5 February by the Paro dzongkhag court.
At the time of the crime he was reported to be in a drunken state on the early morning of 5 December, 2012.
The accused will have to pay Nu. 145,100 for bail or he can appeal to higher authorities within ten working days.
Sources said that the convict had paid thrimthue (compensation in lieu of imprisonment).
In addition, the convict was imposed a penalty of Nu 1,250 for drunk driving and his driving license was withheld for 10 months.
The convict was booked for the offence of battery, sexual harassment, trespassing, reckless endangerment, official misconduct, and harassment.
Out of seven charges levied on the defendant by the Paro police the charge of sexual harassment was dropped by the court due to no evidence and supporting documents.
The victim had flown from Bangkok on 4 December alone and was received as a tourist by the tour agency operated by the convict.
On 4 December, after dinner the convict had asked the victim if she wanted to visit some bars in the town (Paro). During the course of a night out, the suspect got drunk. The victim had also consumed some beer and Ara (local brewed alcohol).
While on their way back to the hotel room, the defendant in a drunken state tried to touch her and when she tried to escape the suspect had pushed her below the chest several times.
The victim who managed to escape and hide behind some bushes called the police for help. The incident took place near the bird’s eye view, opposite Paro airport.
Dorji Tshering was arrested on 5 December from one of the hotel rooms in Paro where he was found sleeping. The suspect had entered the room through the window since the keys were with the victim.
Following the incident the Secretariat of the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) cancelled the license of M/s Bhutan Kuenphen Tours & Treks and Dorji Tshering the convict who is both the proprietor and tour operator of the company.
The convict and his company have been blacklisted by the Secretariat and barred from conducting tourism-related business.
Chencho Dema / Thimphu