A 57-year-old teacher of religion, identified by his initials BS, who works at an elementary school in Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan, has been arrested on suspicion that he molested nine girls, all of whom are his students.
Based on his confession to the local police, BS has been molesting the victims since last year. In class, he would make the girls go up to his desk and sit on his lap before molesting them and occasionally showing them pornographic videos.
"If they didn't comply he said he would fail them in religious studies. If they told their parents he said he would fail them too," Kutai Kartanegara Police Crime Investigation Unit Chief Damus Asa told Detik today. "For now, he confesses [to molesting the children] for fun."
Despite his threats, one student told on BS to her parents recently. When the other victims did the same, their parents went to the school to confront BS, who initially denied the accusations.
When the police got involved, BS eventually confessed and may face up up 15 years in prison if convicted of child molestation. "We will invite a psychiatrist to check if he has mental health problems. The suspect is also old," Damus said.
The police are continuing their investigation to determine whether or not there were other victims in this case.
In 2016, after the brutal gang rape and murder of a teenage girl in Bengkulu, President Joko Widodo signed a Perppu (Presidential Regulation In Lieu of Law) introducing the death penalty and chemical castration for convicted child molesters.
Activists say that the threat of severe punishment has not been as successful a deterrent as the government hoped, as sexual assault against children continue to be a serious problem in Indonesia.