Sukabumi pedophilia case "top of an iceberg"

Sukabumi pedophilia case "top of an iceberg"

Illustration of child abused. (theaustralian.com.au)

What is important is how to remove the traumatic stress disorders of the victims and investigate other suspected victims."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - After the reports of sexual abuse of a 6-year-old pupil, AK, last month at the Jakarta International School (JIS) shocked the public, a similar case has been revealed in Sukabumi, West Java.

In the JIS case, kindergarten pupil AK and another boy, whose name has not yet been revealed, were victims of sexual assaults by five suspects.

Since the investigation of Sukabumi case started four days ago, the number of victims reporting to the police has increased and has reached 95. Police have arrested one suspect, 24-year-old Emon alias AS, and are hunting another suspect, whose name or initial is yet to be made public.

On Saturday (May 3), Indonesians were shocked at the news of Emon or AS, a citizen of Citamiang Subdistrict, West Java province, who had allegedly sexually abused 51 little boys in his neighborhood.

But the police who have been investigating since four days reported that the number of victims till Tuesday has reached 95.

"Today, we have received additional reports of 16 victims from their parents. We have checked their health and collected data on them. Thus, the total number has reached 89 victims," Sukabumi City District Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Hari Santoso told Antara on Monday.

However the number rose to 95 on Tuesday. The Sukabumi police made the revelation that 95 small boys were reportedly sodomized by Emon.

"Today, another six young boys, accompanied by their family members, have reported to the police that Emon had molested them. The official victim tally now stands at 95," Sukabumi Polices Chief of Criminal Investigation Department Adjunct Commissioner Sulaeman claimed on Tuesday.

He stated that his department had identified a new suspect in the case, but he refused to reveal the pedophiles identity.

"We have identified a new suspect and the Criminal Investigation Department of Sukabumi District Police is now chasing him. We already have complete information about the suspect," Sulaeman claimed on Tuesday.

The new suspect is a friend and neighbor of Emon. He ran away and hid as soon as he heard of Emons arrest and the revelation of the case.

So far, the police suspected only the two men, while the number of victims could keep on increasing if the victims parents report similar cases of their children to the police.

According to Hari Santoso, parents voluntarily come to report cases of sexual violence against their children. The age of the victims ranged between 8 and 11 years. But, so far, none of the victims were detected to have contracted communicable venereal diseases.

Hari stated that the police will continue to carry out investigation on the suspect and to evaluate information provided by the suspect in an effort to thoroughly disclose the case.

Hari noted that on health examinations of the victims, seven boys had suffered injuries in their private parts; of these boys, one was serious while the remaining had sustained only abrasions.

"What is important is how to remove the traumatic stress disorders of the victims and investigate other suspected victims. We do not rule out the possibility that the number of victims will increase because there were still many families who claimed their children also fell victims," Hari Santoso claimed.

He added that of the 89 reported victims on Monday, 61 have undergone police interrogations (BAP). Police will conduct another BAP on the remaining victims.

Hari Santoso called on the parents or their relatives to report to the police soon if they are suspicious of their children.

After all, Emon has been committing these pedophilia acts since his adolescence. According to a witness Soni, who is also the suspects neighbor, Emon alias AS had been preying on kids since junior high school. Soni confessed that when he was in elementary school, Emon had once called him and promised to give him a turtle doll if Soni agreed to do whatever Emon instructed him to do.

"I was with another friend at the time when I met Emon. He told he would give me a turtle doll only if I took off my pants. I refused to agree to his demand and ran away with my friend," Soni remarked.

At least 95 little boys in Citamiang Subdistrict, Sukabumi City, have reportedly become victims of sexual assaults allegedly conducted by Emon.

Last Sunday, Ya, an aunt of an alleged victim reported to the police about her 11-year-old nephew (US) who had died at his home in Citamiang Subdistrict last February due to an alleged sexual assault by a pedophile.

"When he came home from a trip to the Citamiang hot spring, US complained of acute pain in his private parts. A few days later, the child could not go to the toilet and his body temperature had also shot up. We hospitalized him for a few days, but then decided to take alternative medication due to financial problems," the victims aunt Ya stated.

Expressing concerns over sexual abuse of children, Minister of Womens Empowerment and Child Protection Linda Amalia Sari Gumelar noted on Monday that there was no single region in Indonesia that was friendly with children.

Pedophilia cases have occurred in society, such as the one in Sukabumi. It has happened not only in Indonesia but throughout the world; thus, pedophilia cases have gained the attention of the world, the minister stated.

"This case is like an iceberg. We believe that such incidents have occurred not only in Sukabumi but also in other regions that have not been revealed as yet," she asserted.

The minister noted that what had to be done now was to together look for ways to prevent such incidents from recurring and also help children who have been victims of sexual assaults, such as the crimes committed by the suspect AS or Emon.

The same concerns were also expressed by the chairperson of West Javas Womens and Child Integrated Protection Service Center (P2TP2A), Neti Heryawan.

She noted that what was of most concern to her organization was the fact that the number of human trafficking cases had dropped but violence against children has increased 80 percent.

Neti added that it was possible that the number of Emons victims will keep on increasing.

"In 2012, we handled 56 cases of sexual violence against children. We have now received reports from police involving 52 cases. This means that there have been 108 victims of sexual violence against children in West Java," Neti Heryawan noted on Sunday.

Therefore, she added, her organization has appealed to the police in Sukabumi to produce an investigation model that could be taken as reference by other regions in protecting children from sexual assaults or children who have become victims.
(T.A014/INE/KR-BSR)

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