The judges at the Bandung High Court have sentenced Herry Wirawan, who raped 13 of his students, to death — granting public prosecutors’ demands to pronounce the child molester with the death penalty.
Presiding Judge Herri Swantoro read out the verdict in an open court today.
Herry is guilty of raping 13 of his students, aged 16 to 17, on various occasions from 2016 at a number of Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) where he taught. His victims have given birth to 9 children.
Herry, who is 36 years old, was previously sentenced to life in prison but was exempt from chemical castration, as ruled earlier by the Bandung District Court in mid-February.
The Bandung High Court has also imposed Herry to pay restitution amounting to IDR300 million (US$20,925) as compensation for damages to the victims. All 13 of his victims will receive various amounts of restitution.
At any rate, Herry’s sentence is one of the heaviest punishments handed by a court to a convicted child molester in Indonesia. Under Indonesian law, child rapists generally get a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Chemical castration as punishment was ratified into law in Indonesia after the shockingly brutal gang rape and murder of a teenage girl in Bengkulu in 2016. Activists said that the threat of severe punishment has not been as successful a deterrent as the government hoped, as sexual assault against children continue to be a serious problem in Indonesia.