The Office of Attorney General (OAG) charged a 31-year-old teacher from one of the schools in Gelephu drungkhag, for attempt to rape a child above 12 years and six counts of child molestation.

The case is on trial at the Gelephu drungkhag court.

OAG charges state that the 31-year-old teacher, from Tashithang village of Sergithang, Tsirang attempted to rape a 14-year-old student after allegedly calling the minor and her younger brother to his house and forced them to sleep in his house. “When the siblings slept in his room after latching the door, he broke the open door and slept near the minor without any clothing on him with the intention to rape her.”

The teacher was charged for violating section 183 of the amended Penal Code of Bhutan 2004.

OAG stated that the crime should be graded a third-degree felony in accordance with section 184 and 134 of the Penal Code with sentencing ranging from five to nine years in prison.

The incident happened in April last year.

The teacher, who taught English and Information Technology in the school since 2013, was charged with six counts of child molestation.

OAG stated that in April last year he molested the 14-year-old girl when she and her brother went to get A4 sheets from his house. It was alleged that the teacher made the siblings watch a movie and asked her to come and pick some guava. “When they reached near the fruit tree, he asked the minor to sit on his lap and made sexual advances. The girl went home without even taking the paper but did not tell anyone about it.”

The teacher was charged for violating section 203 of the Penal Code of Bhutan.

OAG stated that the crime should be graded a fourth-degree felony with a sentence ranging from three years to five years in prison.

In another incident, the teacher was alleged of asking the victim’s mother to send the minor to his home. “When the minor refused, the mother insisted her to go saying he is her teacher and that he might fail her in the examination if she didn’t listen to him,” the charges stated.

It was alleged that the minor went to the teacher’s house along with her brother and that teacher molested her in front of the brother.

The teacher was also alleged of molesting another 12-year-old girl on September 25 by calling her and two other friends to his house. “When the minor was preparing curry in the kitchen, he molested her. The girl could not share the incident with her friends and the teacher forced her to sleep near him. She, however, slept on the sofa,” the charges stated.

In March last year, the teacher also molested another 12-year-old student in the school’s assembly ground when she went to ask some questions.

On April 30, the teacher went to a 13-year-old student’s house and asked the parents to send the girl to his house to wash his dishes.

It was alleged that the teacher took the girl to a different direction and molested her. “The teacher also warned the student to not tell anyone about the incident,” OAG charges stated.

It also stated that on May 27, the teacher asked another 13-year-old student and few friends to come to his house, claiming that he was not feeling well. “After the minors had dinner, the teacher brought his beddings and said he wanted to sleep with them. Even when the girls’ denied, he slept in the same room, made the minor share his bed and molested her.”

Police in Gelephu arrested the teacher on November 16 last year after it was reported that a student dropped out of school because of the teacher’s conduct. The student confided that her teacher molested her after her parents sought the help of volunteers of a non-government organisation in the locality to counsel her.

Kuensel learnt that the teacher is currently on bail.

Tashi Dema