Nurse sentenced to 9 months for fondling patient while she was under anesthesia in Surabaya hospital

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

One of the most high-profile sexual harassment cases in Indonesia this year, involving a nurse at a Surabaya hospital who allegedly fondled a patient in an anesthesia-induced, half-conscious state, has reached its initial legal conclusion today with a guilty verdict for the defendant.

The Surabaya District Court sentenced the nurse, identified as Zunaidi Abdillah, to 9 months in prison for sexual assault on a victim who was not fully in a conscious state, in accordance with Article 290 Verse 1 of the KUHP (Criminal Code).

The sentence is more lenient than the 1 year and 6 months previously demanded by prosecutors.

Zunaidi’s legal representative, Mohamad Soleh, said they will appeal against the sentence.

“We don’t get it, there was no witness testifying against the defendant throughout the trial. We will appeal for sure,” he said, as quoted by Kompas today.

The sexual harassment allegation blew up in January, when a viral video showed Zunaidi apologizing to a distressed female patient who accused him of fondling her breasts while transferring her to a recovery room following her C-section.

The police arrested Zubaidi after he went AWOL for a day after the incident and charged him with obscenity, which carries a maximum 7 year sentence.

In court, Zubaidi claimed that he did not sexually harass the patient and that he was pressured to apologize in the viral video. In their investigation of the case, the Indonesian National Nurses Union (PPNI) said they believe that Zubaidi did not molest the patient and that he had only been taking off the monitors attached to her chest.

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