Batang, Central Java (ANTARA) - The Central Java Police has named a religious school principal, Wildan Mashuri Aman, 58, as a suspect in the sexual abuse case against 14 students in Batang District, Central Java.

"It is true. He was named a suspect in a criminal act of obscenity and sexual assault against underage children," Central Java Police Chief Insp. Gen. Ahmad Luthfi stated here on Tuesday.

The suspect was accused of sexually assaulting the girls during the period between 2019 and 2023 at the Bandar Islamic Boarding School in the district.

The police are still investigating the case to look into the possibility of more victims in the case, Luthfi said.

Before committing sexual abuse, Aman conducted ijab qabul (Muslim wedding vows), albeit in the absence of witnesses. He told the victims that glory will come to them.

Aman gave the victims some pocket money and forbade them to tell their parents about these acts.

The police chief revealed that the students had been indoctrinated to accept their religious teacher's saying without any questions, and they did not dare to tell their parents.

"This has become a national issue, especially since this has involved underage children as victims," he emphasized.

Luthfi said the suspect would be convicted under Law Number 23 on child protection and face 15 years of jail term.

"However, since the criminal act was conducted repeatedly, the punishment can be 15 to 20 years in prison," he stated.

In 2022, a married religious school principal was sentenced to death for raping 13 schoolgirls in Bandung, West Java.

Herry Wirawan was accused of sexually grooming and assaulting the teenagers, nine of whom were impregnated, between 2016 and 2021 at a pesantren (Islamic boarding school) in the city.

The Child Protection Commission (KPAI) reported that a fifth of the 51 sexual abuse incidents between 2015 and 2020 occurred in boarding schools.

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Translator: Kutnadi, Sri Haryati
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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