Jakarta (ANTARA) - A House of Representatives' official lauded the prosecutor's decision to sentence to death Herry Wirawan for raping 13 female students in Bandung and expects the judiciary panel to grant the request.

"If that is what the prosecutor demanded, we certainly hold it in the highest regard as possible. That means the prosecutor's demand is in line with the wishes of the people, who strongly condemn the incident, (that is) Herry's behavior towards the students," Chairman of Commission VIII of the House of Representatives, Yandri Susanto, noted in his statement received here on Wednesday.

Susanto expects that maximum punishment handed out to Herry Wirawan would serve as a lesson for the public to prevent the recurrence of similar criminal acts in future.

Susanto remarked that any deviant citizens or anyone who committed sexual crimes, would think twice or many times before doing inhumane acts like what Wirawan had done.

He also expects that this case would encourage other regions to take sexual violence cases seriously, thereby ensuring only the best approach and solutions.

"Hopefully, the message through the court in Bandung will be our starting point to address the issue of sexual violence or sexual harassment in all areas in a serious manner, including across all scopes, whether it be in the general public or in educational institutions,” he remarked.

Thus, he expects the panel of judges to be able to grant the prosecutor's demands to severely punish the perpetrators to prevent such incidents from recurring.

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Herry Wirawan, 36, the defendant in the rape case against 13 female students, was given death penalty by the prosecutor from the West Java High Prosecutor's Office.

Head of the West Java Attorney General's Office, Asep N. Mulyana, noted that the demand for granting death penalty to Wirawan was made for his unruly acts that led to some of the victims becoming pregnant, which was considered a grave crime.

"We first charge the defendant with death penalty. This is proof of our commitment to having a deterrent effect on the perpetrators," Mulyana stated at the Bandung District Court, Bandung, West Java, on Tuesday, January 11.

He noted that the death penalty was decided, as Wirawan's crimes involved abuse of his position as owner of the boarding school.

Mulyana stated that the perpetrator's actions had greatly affected the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of these students.

What made it worse was the fact that Wirawan misused religious and educational symbols to commit his acts.

He also noted that his administration had demanded other things from the defendant. The prosecutor demanded Wirawan to pay a fine of Rp500 million and also to pay Rp331 million to the victims for restitution.

"We also urge the judge to impose additional penalties in the form of identity announcements, distribution of the identities of the accused, and additional prosecution in the form of chemical castration," Mulyana concluded.

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Translator: Imam Budilaksono, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Suharto
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