The Office of Attorney General (OAG) charged a 60-year-old man from Gorgan in Lhuentse for criminal attempt to rape a 23-year-old woman at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital’s (JDWNRH) psychiatric ward on the early morning of August 22.

A 23-year-old woman reported to Thimphu police on August 22 that around 1:20AM, the 60-year-old man, who was sharing a room with her at the psychiatric ward, pulled her pants and tried to rape her.

The man, who arrived from Lhuentse then, was an attendant of his psychiatric- patient daughter, who shared the same room with the woman’s niece.

The defendant, in his statement to police, confessed to the crime and stated that after the 23-year-old woman shouted, two psychiatric ward officials came and took the woman and her patient to a different room.

OAG charged the man for criminal attempt of rape, citing section 177, which states, “A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of rape, if the defendant has sexual intercourse with another person” and section 120 of the Penal Code of Bhutan 2004, which states, “A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of an attempt to commit a crime, if the defendant acts with the culpability required for commission of a crime; and engages in a conduct or an omission, which constitutes the commission of the crime.”

The crime, OAG submitted is graded a fourth-degree felony in accordance with section 178 of the Penal Code but in accordance with section 134 of the Code, which states, “Unless otherwise indicated in this Penal Code, the defendant who is guilty of the offence of criminal attempt, solicitation, or criminal conspiracy shall be liable to half the penalty if the offence is of third-degree felony, fourth-degree felony, misdemeanour or petty misdemeanour.”

Tashi Dema