Chencho Dema

Punakha’s dzongkhag court, on March 20, convicted a 53-year-old man for the rape of a minor above 12 years of age and impregnated her.

He has been sentenced to nine years and one month in prison. However, because the man served six months and three days in detention at the Punakha police station, his remaining sentence is now eight years, five months, and 27 days.

Despite the man’s confession to the rape, the court encountered a challenge regarding uncertainty about the paternity of the unborn child, as the convict requested a DNA test. 

However, if paternity is confirmed, the man would be required to provide child support after his release from prison.

The victim, 16 years old then, was the man’s neighbour.  The incident occurred last year when the victim was on summer vacation. She was then studying in Class VI.

She was alone at home; her mother and grandmother were working in the fields, and her younger sister had gone to visit a friend.

The man had warned her not to disclose the incident.

The victim kept this secret to herself and eventually returned to school. However, the matron noticed changes in her body and took her to the hospital for a check-up.

The girl was three months pregnant by then.

The case was reported to the Wangdue police station in September last year. It was later transferred to the Punakha police station since the incident occurred in Punakha.