Police in Central Kalimantan have arrested a village chief and two village officials for alleged multiple rapes of a 17-year-old girl.
The suspects are the chief of Tewang Manyagen village in Katingan regency, identified as 47-year-old H, and two of his subordinates, 39-year-old A and 24-year-old N.
According to the police, the suspects raped the victim numerous times between July 2019 and May 2020.
“Based on the victim’s testimony, the sexual assault occurred multiple times. Between the three suspects, the locations varied,” Katingan Police Chief Andri Siswan Ansyah said yesterday.
“The village chief, H, sexually assaulted the victim four times. [The rapes took place] at his house, his office.”
N allegedly raped the victim three times whereas A allegedly raped her once after dragging her to a farm field.
Each suspect threatened the victim into silence. Their crimes were revealed recently when her family found out she was five months pregnant.
The suspects could each face up to 15 years in prison for sexual abuse of a minor under Indonesia’s child protection law.
This incident is among the latest in a string of rapes against minors or otherwise reported in the country. Activists have long urged on lawmakers to pass the Elimination of Sexual Violence Bill (RUU PKS) into law. The bill clearly defines different forms of sexual violence and sets out the responsibilities of the state in dealing with each of those instances. It also provides protection of victims and witnesses, increases access to justice, recovery and reparation mechanisms for victims and rehabilitation for offenders.
However, the House of Parliament (DPR) have been tabled off for the current term because deliberations on the subject were “a bit difficult.”
Instead, Indonesia is left with sanctions like chemical castration for child molesters, which, on paper, sounds terrifying but has evidently done nothing to eliminate sexual assault against children.
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