In what can be seen as an important victory in the war against widespread street harassment in Indonesia, the Depok District Court yesterday handed a one-year prison sentence to Ilham Sina Tanjung, who was arrested in January for groping a woman’s breast while he was driving his motorcycle.
On January 11, CCTV footage went viral showing Ilham driving his motorcycle on a quiet alleyway in Depok. A woman, identified as 22-year-old Amanda, was walking alone in the alleyway when Ilham drove by her and groped her breast before speeding off. After his arrest four days later, Amanda said “I could only scream, my body shook and I was crying. At the time there weren’t other people around,” after the sexual harassment.
Yesterday, the Depok District Court concluded Ilham’s trial by sentencing him to one year in prison, three times longer than the four-month sentence recommended by the prosecution.
“The convicted, Ilham Sina Tanjung, has been proven without doubt of performing a criminal act by deliberately carrying out an immoral action in public,” said head judge Rizki Mubarak during the sentence hearing, as quoted by Kompas.
Ilham and his legal counsel said they would consider appealing against the sentence.
In an interview with Coconuts, Amanda said that despite Ilham’s arrest, she was dissatisfied with the police because they had only taken action after she decided to share the CCTV video of herself being assaulted, which quickly went viral online.
Police in Indonesia have often been accused of not taking sexual harassment and assault reports seriously, but recently such stories have been making more headlines in the local news as awareness of the problem grows and victims become more confident in speaking out because of the brave actions of people like Amanda.
Last month, a college student in Depok also claimed that a man on a motorcycle groped her breasts while she was alone on a quiet alleyway. The police have not yet managed to identify and arrest the culprit.
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