Phurpa Lhamo | Punakha

Punakha police detained a 72-year-old man who is from Changbangdu in Thimphu since October 6 for alleged rape of a nine-year-old girl.

The victim’s mother reported the matter to Punakha police, after health officials in Wangduephodrang told her that the child was raped. The mother took the daughter to the hospital after she complained of stomach ache.

Sources said the accused, who is a farmer, and the victim were neighbors.

Police investigation revealed that the suspect had sexually assaulted the child many times, even in front of the victim’s younger brother. He even had the victim’s photos in his mobile phone.

The case has been registered as a statutory rape.

Section 181 of the Penal Code (Amendment) Act of Bhutan 2011 states that a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of statutory rape if the defendant engages in any act of sexual intercourse whatever its nature with a child below twelve years, or an incompetent person, either with or without knowledge of the other person being a child or incompetent person.

The crime is graded a first degree felony in accordance with section 182 of the amended Act.