After going AWOL, nurse in Surabaya hospital sexual assault case arrested, faces up to 7 years for obscenity

Screengrab from a video in which a female patient at a hospital in the Indonesian city of Surabaya demands that a nurse apologize for fondling her breasts while she was under anesthesia. Photo: Instagram
Screengrab from a video in which a female patient at a hospital in the Indonesian city of Surabaya demands that a nurse apologize for fondling her breasts while she was under anesthesia. Photo: Instagram

Police in the city of Surabaya, East Java, have arrested a nurse, identified by his initial J, who allegedly sexually assaulted a female patient by fondling her breasts while she was under anesthesia after a video of his admission of guilt to the victim went viral online recently.

After the case blew up nationwide, police said that J went AWOL for a while, but was eventually located and arrested this morning.

“He was found at 5:10am,” said Surabaya Police Spokesperson Lily Djafar, as quoted by Detik today.

“He was handed over to the Women and Children Protection Unit.”

The police charged J with committing an obscene act on a victim who was physically unable to resist under Article 290 of the KUHP (Criminal Code), which is punishable by up to 7 years in prison.

According to information obtained by the police, J, who had worked at the hospital for 5 years, fondled the victim’s breasts after she was moved to a recovery room following a C-section. The hospital also fired J as a result of the incident.

Speaking to the media, Yudi, the victim’s husband, said his wife is heavily stressed from the ordeal.

“She still can’t concentrate during conversations,” he said, as quoted by CNN Indonesia yesterday.

“Even if he’s sorry doesn’t mean the criminal case will be dropped.”

This is the second major cases in Indonesia recently to highlight the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and assault in Indonesia, as well as the growing number of women who refuse to remain silent about the abuse they have endured.

The other case involved Amanda, a 22-year-old woman from the city of Depok, West Java, who allegedly had her breast groped by a passing motorcyclist. She said that she was determined to report her harasser to the police despite bureaucratic difficulties in filing a complaint, telling us, “I want this to be a deterrent for other potential harassers… I want them to see that they can’t just go around grabbing anyone they want.”

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