A 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her stepfather, a Peljab with the Royal Bhutan Police, in Thimphu.

According to sources, the last sexual assault occurred on July 10 around 9pm after the girl’s mother left for work. 

The girl, a student in one of the schools in Thimphu shared about the incident to her friends who then informed the school principal.

It was learnt that the principal filed a complaint with the police on August 17 and the stepfather was arrested the same day.

According to sources, the girl said that she could not tell her mother about what her stepfather did to her because the mother frequently falls ill. 

It was learnt that the stepfather allegedly raped her the first time in June this year while he sexually abused her regularly by rubbing her breast and private parts.

Forensic officials have confirmed that there is evidence of past sexual penetration.

A medical examination found that the girl had multiple old hymenal tears which means there is past sexual penetration.

If an assault has happened within 72 hours of the victim being referred to the forensic department with the national referral hospital, the forensic officials take HVS (high vaginal swab) to see if there is presence of sperm cells. 

HVS is a technique used in Obstetrics and Gynecology to obtain a sample of vaginal discharge.

A forensic official said there are factors that could result in no sperm deposit in the body. “It could be because of using a condom, the man has not ejaculated or because of azoospermia which means complete lack of sperm in the ejaculate.”

He said if there is a presence of sperm cell during the test, it could be matched with the perpetrators with a DNA test.

The forensic officials take HVS whenever a victim or suspect is referred to the forensic department at the hospital.  They had also taken a vaginal swab of the girl so that it can be used later for DNA test if required. Police officials were not reachable for comments.

The number of sexual assault cases reported to the Forensic Medicine and Toxicology unit at the national referral hospital in Thimphu increased from nine cases in 2005 to 65 last year. 

In 2016, about 44 cases were reported to the unit, nine more than the previous year.

Dechen Tshomo