Thinley Namgay 

Trashiyangtse Dzongkhag Court sentenced Jangchub Nyingpo, 43, from Toedtsho gewog to life imprisonment on July 29 for statutory rape of his 10-year-old stepdaughter on multiple occasions.

The court also ordered Jangchub Nyingpo, a father of four, to pay Nu 112,500 as compensation to the victim.

The incident first occurred early last year, when the victim had come to visit her mother, who lived with her stepfather, on a vacation. She was studying in class IV.

Three days after her arrival, the stepfather raped the girl after taking her with him to herd cattle. She was also raped a week later, and on numerous occasions thereafter. He warned the victim not to tell her mother. However, in April this year, when the man tried to rape the girl, he was caught by the mother and reported it to the police.

Jangchub Nyingpo confessed to the police his crime.  The medical report from  khamdang hospital also indicated sexual activity and revealed that the girl has contracted a sexually transmitted infection.

The Office of the Attorney General prosecuted the case and charged the defendant with first-degree felony and demanded compensation for the victim.

Section 181 of the Penal Code of Bhutan 2004 says the defendant shall be guilty of the offence of statutory rape, if the defendant engages in sexual intercourse 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 dzongkhag court said the defendant was supposed to care for and treat the stepdaughter like his own child. The victim had undergone severe emotional and mental stress after the incident, the court’s judgment stated.

The defendant presented to the court in June that he regretted his action and worried about the life of his children. Jangchub Nyingpo has eight  days to appeal to the High Court.