… The minor was a domestic violence survivor 

Staff Reporter 

Panbang drungkhag court on Thursday sentenced Neten Wangchuk, 36 from Panbang to life imprisonment for the statutory rape of his nine-year-old stepdaughter in November last year. 

The minor was also a victim of domestic violence and faced sexual abuse for a long time, the judgment stated. Her school friends in the neighbourhood helped her share about the sexual abuse with her mother finally. 

The sexual abuse incident also surfaced when the mother of the daughter and the stepfather quarrelled about her ex-husband. They were involved in frequent altercations about their past marriages. 

The man started to abuse the stepdaughter after learning about the minor’s mother getting back in relation with her ex-husband, according to the judgment. 

The medical examination was delayed, as the minor couldn’t talk about the incident for a long time. 

However, the detailed medical examination conducted in November last year confirmed the rape of the minor. 

The court also sentenced 38-year-old Sangay Gyeltshen, a neighbour of the minor to five years and six months for the attempt to rape the same minor. The man confessed that he was under the influence of alcohol when the incident happened. 

Sangay Gyeltshen was the landlord of the house where the minor and the family lives. 

The incident took place on separate occasions in Panbang. The daughter had just turned nine when the incident took place, according to the officials from the court. 

Neten Wangchuk and Sangay Gyeltshen will have to pay Nu 45,000 and Nu 26,000 respectively as compensation to the victim. The men were arrested in November last year.