Thinley Namgay 

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) charged a 28-year-old-man to  Pemagatshel Court last week for alleged rape of a minor and incest.

The suspect and the 15-year-old victim are both from Pemagatshel. The girl is a student studying in class IX, and the defendant, a class XII graduate.

In March 2021, the victim’s brother reported to police alleging that his sister was raped. The  girl’s mother caught them together in the bed and reported the incident to the village tshogpa and relatives.

Upon investigation, police found out that they have been in a relationship for a year. Police also came to know that they are relatives, as the defendant’s grandfather and victim’s grandmother are siblings.

According to police, the man claimed that they had been involved in physical relationship since 2019.  However, the girl claimed that it’s been only three months since they were involved in physical relations. The girl told police that she was raped during their first intercourse, which the man also accepted.

The rape of a minor above 12 years of age falls under section 183 of the Penal Code (Amendment) Act of Bhutan 2021. The Penal Code (Amendment) Act of Bhutan 2021 grades the rape of a child above the age of twelve years as a second-degree felony with prison term ranging between nine and 15 years.

The man was also charged for incest as per the section 207 and 208  of the Penal Code of Bhutan 2004.  Section 207 states: “A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of incest, if the defendant engages in sexual intercourse or any other sexual conduct with a person to whom the defendant is related by consanguinity or affinity in such a way that they cannot legally marry except otherwise provided in other laws.”