School Principal Bags Death Sentence After Raping 13 Students
A High Court in Indonesia has sentenced the principal of an Islamic boarding school in the country to death for raping at least 13 students.
The rapes took place over a five-year period and several of the victims, who are between the ages of 11 and 14, were impregnated as a result.
According to the Associated Press, Henry Wirawan was initially convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in February by a lower court, but the prosecutors involved appealed for the death penalty and for the seizure of his assets due to the gravity of the crimes and public outcry.
He committed the crimes between 2016 and 2021 and at least nine babies were reportedly born as a result of the rapes.
“What he had done had caused trauma and suffering to the victims and their parents. The defendant had tarnished the reputation of Islamic boarding schools,” said the ruling the court released on its website.
The lower court had ordered Indonesia’s child protection ministry to pay $23,200 in combined compensation requested by the victims and between $600 and $6,000 for medical and psychological treatment for each girl, instead of seizing Wirawan’s assets.
But the high court ruled for his assets to be seized, including a foundation he owned, and auctioned to benefit the victims and their children.
The high court further ruled that the nine children born to the victims should be handed over to the Children and Women Protection Agency with periodic evaluation “until the victims are mentally ready to care for their children, and the situation allows for their children to be returned to the victims.”
Wirawan’s lawyer said she would advise him to appeal the sentence to the Supreme Court before it becomes final in seven days.
Wirawan pleaded guilty and apologized to his victims and their families during the trial.
The Police began to investigate the case and arrested Wirawan last May when parents of a victim went to the police after their daughter returned home on a holiday and admitted she had just given birth.