The Kathmandu District Court has found Manoj Pandey, the promoter of Model Global Visas Consultancy, guilty of child sexual abuse and human trafficking.
The bench of Judge Deepak Dhakal on Tuesday has found Pandey guilty and sentenced him for six months and ordered him to pay compensation of Rs 50,000 to the victim for child sex abuse. It has called another hearing on February 6 to announce the quantum of punishment in the human trafficking charge. The court generally holds another hearing for quantum of punishment in cases with jail term of more than three years.
The District Attorney’s Office had sought a jail term of 10 to 15 years against Pandey in the human trafficking case and of up to three years in the child sexual abuse case.
Pandey has been accused of drugging and raping a minor in the course of a beauty pageant eight years ago. He was arrested on May 21, 2022 and was sent to judicial custody on June 20.
A woman last year revealed through videos on social media that she was raped in the course of Miss Global International 2014, a beauty pageant, when she was 16.
The victim claimed that Pandey spiked her drinks during a program at a hotel eight years ago. She added that Pandey threatened her the next morning saying he had nude photos and video of her taken during the night when she was inebriated and would publish them if she lodged a complaint.
She revealed that Pandey continued to blackmail and rape her for six months. Pandey, allegedly, also brought his friends and made them rape her in front of him during the period.
She stated in the revelations that she took some friends of hers to Pandey’s consultancy after six months and told every staffer there about his misdeeds producing the call records and texts he had sent to her during the intervening period.
(Editor's Note: The court has ordered Pandey to pay compensation of Rs 50,000 to the victim, not fined him, as was erroneously reported earlier. The name of the judge has also been corrected since first publication. The errors are regretted.)