Feb 25, 2010

Rapist of 6 year old may go free?

Kuensel reports that a lack of funds to carry out a DNA test to convict the rapist of a 6 year old girl may result in him going free.

According to the police:"It’s possible the accused can be acquitted if we went ahead with the trial without direct DNA evidence,” major Phub Gyeltshen said. “And if he’s in any way innocent, we could right now be denying his basic human rights.”

This sounds good, but doesn't seem right. Is there no way that a prosecutor could work with circumstantial evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the man whom they have in custody is the one who committed the crime? I say this because the police themselves say they are 100 percent sure the man committed the crime. Even in the U.S, where Forensic science is being used everyday, circumstantial evidence is used as an option when every avenue is exhausted and DNA is lacking to link the criminal to the crime.

I mean, if possible, DNA evidence is always the best and should be the requirement for all cases (something I support and have written about) but right now, we have no Forensic lab and apparently lack the money, so we have to do the best with what we have especially when it comes to dealing with a pedophile and rape of a minor. I can't believe that this is the excuse to allow the man to walk scot free because they can't prove through DNA he did it.

Is this a new set of rules that the police and legal system in Bhutan has brought into effect, or is it being said just to "show" how seriously we abide by justice? How come this standard didn't apply in other cases related to sexual abuse, or even murder?

I know people who have been incarcerated and served several years in prison after being found guilty of sexual crimes based solely on circumstantial evidence. Many of them put away even if the victims/girls were 15 and above, and even if it was "consensual sex." This was because the Penal Code declared the minimum age of consent for sex in Bhutan to be 18. But there were no excuses made for those defendants, and their human rights were not taken into consideration, were they?

And now to learn that the rapist of a 6 year old might walk free because they can't get a DNA test makes it sound like something is severely wrong, because if others could get put away on circumstantial evidence, why not him? What makes this man so special, or is there something severely wrong in the way the police and the justice system is functioning? Where is the consistency?

Apart from clarification and more information on this case, can someone also tell me what is being done (or not being done) about the legal age of consent for sex when the marriageable age for girls in the countryside is 15. Has the marriageable age been raised? Is it illegal, therefore, for girls to marry at 16, 17 or 18? If they do, are husband and wife both imprisoned? I would appreciate some answers.

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