Two men convicted for a string of late night gang rapes, robbery, criminal attempt to voluntary manslaughter, battery and consumption, and possession of controlled substance s appeared in the Thimphu District Court for the ultimate judgment yesterday.
Tshering Dorji, a 26-year-old ex-soldier from Dogar under Paro dzongkhag was sentenced to 45 years and three months in connection to gang rapes, rape of a married woman, attempt to gang rape, attempt to voluntary manslaughter, three battery cases, robbery and consumption and possession of controlled substances.
All charges against the convict were proved beyond reasonable doubt.
The other convict Gyembo Dorji, 23 from Chang Jiji, Thimphu also an ex-soldier was sentenced to 17 years and three months prison term in connection with gang rape, attempt to gang rape, attempt to robbery, battery and consumption and possession of controlled substances.
All five charges for him had also been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Convicted on gang rape and other criminal acts following a jury trial, Tshering Dorji and Gyembo Dorji together was found guilty of gang rape, attempt to gang rape, battery, attempted for robbery and consumption and possession of controlled substance.
The court had no leniency for the charges and has no hesitation to sentence the defendants who were former army personnel who acted against their oaths taken for the security of the country.
The court as it passed the judgment ruled that it is hard to bear, and particularly painful act of gang rape committed by the defendant which is a very heinous, atrocious and cruel crime manifesting exceptional depravity on behalf of the defendants.
“The law cannot allow innocent lives to be defiled, traumatized, and ruined families stigmatized,” the court ruled in its judgment.
The defendants pleaded leniency on the grounds that the crimes were committed while they were under the influence of drugs.
The court ruled that reducing the sentence by granting concern and sympathy to the issues of “first offender” and “drugs influence” would render the theory of deterrent punishment a mockery, especially at a time when the crime rate in the country is on the rise.
“The safety and security of women should be protected and ensured, the court must be alerted to the law abiding mission as an instrument of justice.” The verdict stated.
The court has no hope in the reformation of the two defendants and they were given 10 days to appeal to the High Court.
Their victims, five in total, a married woman and four young women were in the age range of 22- 25 when they were assaulted.
Of the five victims, one of them was compensated by the District Court while others could not reached by the court.