Purwokerto, Central Java (ANTARA) - Bandung High Court's decision to hand down the death sentence to serial rapist Herry Wirawan for raping his 13 female students has fulfilled the sense of justice, Purwokerto's Jenderal Sudirman University's criminal law expert stated.

"I perceive the justices' decision as a progressive step because according to our law, the maximum sentence for child rape is 15 years in prison, but justices at the court of appeal decided to hand down the death sentence, same as the prosecutor's demand at the first-degree court," Professor Hibnu Nugroho noted here on Tuesday.

Nugroho remarked that Article 81, paragraph (1) of Law Number 17 of 2016 on Amendments to Law Number 23 of 2002 on Child Protection had regulated that the minimum sentence for sexual violence against children be five years, while the maximum prison sentence is 15 years and the maximum fine for the crime is Rp5 billion.

The professor expounded that according to Article 81, paragraph (2) of the law, if the crime is committed by the victim's parents, guardian, family, caretaker, teacher and school staff, officers of a child protection agency or by a group, then the sentence could be increased by one-third of the sentences enumerated in Article 81, paragraph (1).

"We have two aspects (in Wirawan's case). The first is that the prosecutor's demand has been fulfilled, and second, the justices have a progressive outlook because (they understand) his action toward his many victims have inflicted profound psychological effects (on them). Hence, a deterrent effect is necessary to prevent this crime from recurring in future," Nugroho remarked.

Bandung High Court's death penalty verdict for Wirawan handed down on Monday (Apr 4) could be a point of reference for similar cases in future, he remarked.

Related news: Bandung High Court sentences Herry Wirawan to death

The academic expressed hope that the death penalty for rapists would serve as a deterrence to prevent sexual violence crimes from recurring.

"I support (the death sentence) because it could have a deterrent effect that will prevent others from committing such acts," he remarked.

As Wirawan was handed down a death sentence, he will not receive other sentences of chemical castration and the requirement to wear an electronic tag as regulated in Article 81, paragraph (7) of Law No. 17 of 2016, the professor explained.

"I believe judges and prosecutors must have an out-of-the-box approach to ensure that the public's sense of justice is fulfilled. Oftentimes, with regard to the legal aspect, the judge's sentences are not fulfilling the public's sense of justice, yet (the death penalty for Wirawan) surely would fulfil the sense of justice," Nugroho affirmed.

Related news: Wirawan rape case: Court orders ministry to pay victims restitution

Translator: Sumarwoto, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2022