The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) presented its preliminary hearing in the Thimphu District Court against the accused, a 30-year-old anesthetic technician of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH). Two charges have been made against the accused, one for raping a married woman and the other charge is for official misconduct.
According to OAG, the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) forwarded the case to OAG under rape, however, after reviewing the case; OAG charged the man for the rape of a married woman and also under official misconduct as the accused misused the drug (Fentanyl) to sedate the woman.
The crime took place on 5 April at around 11 PM in JDWNRH when the woman was called into the operation theater (OT) by the anesthetic technician. After injecting the woman with Fentanyl, he is alleged to have raped her. The 28-year-old woman is a mother of two and is married for almost seven years.
OAG said that the accused had specifically called the duty nurse that night to send the 28-year-old woman to him, although there were two attendants with the patient during the time, as he needed her blood sample for a possible blood transfusion required by the patient.
In addition, when nurse informed the woman about the blood transfusion, she had told the nurse that if there is a need for an immediate blood transfusion then the patient’s son (the other attendant on duty) can donate his blood. However, the nurse said only the woman was required as instructed by the accused anesthetic technician.
The woman then met with the accused near the OT, whereby the accused drew her blood and injected her with Fentanyl, which made her fall unconscious. When she regained her consciousness, she was seated on a chair outside the OT where one lady doctor helped her and informed the police later.
OAG said that the accused has confessed to having a sexual intercourse with the victim, adding that it was consensual sex. According to OAG, the accused, in an earlier statement on the case, said he had some work in the surgical ward, whereby he met with the woman and after almost a 20-minute long conversation with her, they decided to have consensual sex.
According to the second attendant with the patient, who is also the witness to the case, the woman did not go anywhere for 20 minutes, and that she was with the patient the whole time.
The accused claimed that he injected the woman with Fentanyel to ease any fear and shyness she feels while having sexual intercourse. However, OAG said that that is next to impossible as the victim is not a minor to be scared or shy during sexual intercourse.
Therefore, OAG presented the case saying that if that was indeed consensual sex, then the accused has to prove to the court that it was consensual and he did not inject her with the intention to rape her.
The accused, if found guilty, will be liable to 3 to 5 years (Fourth Degree Felony) prison term for rape of a married woman and additional 1 to 3 years (misdemeanor) for official misconduct. OAG said a request for compensation to the victim, as per Section 202 of Penal Code of Bhutan 2004 and a Gaw to the other partner as per the Marriage Act (amendment) 2009, will be made.
Although the accused applied for a bail, which was approved by the court, however, he was unable to come up with the bail amount. The accused has yet to present his rebuttal to the court. The next court hearing was scheduled for 13 June, but it has been shifted to a later date which is yet to be fixed.