Bangli Police in Bali have taken a man into custody and named him a suspect in a statutory rape case involving a 14-year-old girl, who is now seven months pregnant. The suspect was identified as IKY, 48, a married man with two children and a grandson.
This is the second case to attract major public attention. The first case, which took place in Jehem village, also in Bangli, involved a marriage between a 14-year-old girl, who was seven months pregnant, and a 39-year-old married father of two. The marriage sparked nationwide anger, in which the public demanded the police investigate and charge the husband with statutory rape.
The girl claimed that she was in love with the man but eventually the police named her husband a suspect, a fact which, along with sustained media attention, drove the girl to a state of emotional depression leading to the premature birth of her baby. The infant died eight hours after the birth.
Bangli Police stated that in the second case the suspect had fled his house after learning that the girl and her parents had filed an official police report on Thursday afternoon.
“With assistance provided by the information technology unit of the Bali Police we were able to triangulate his position using the signal from his cell phone on Friday night. Our detectives then moved to that position and took the suspect into custody. He did not resist arrest,” Bangli Police senior detective First Insp. Dewa Gede Oka told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
Bangli Police spokesperson Adj. Comr. Ida I Dewa Nyoman Rai said the investigators had gathered sufficient preliminary evidence to start a criminal investigation of the suspect.
“We will charge him with articles from the Child Protection Law, in particular those on statutory rape,” he said.
Since early this year, he disclosed, the local police had processed four cases involving the rape of or violence against children.
“We are very concerned about cases involving children and we will act swiftly in these cases.”
Oka revealed that detectives from the police’s special unit for women and children had interviewed the victim, identified as NKM, an eighth-grader at Kintamani junior high school.
During the interview, NKM disclosed that she had lived with her aunt since she was a first grader following the divorce of her parents. Her aunt is a trader at Kintamani market and they live in a two-room rented house in the area. Around one year ago, the aunt began dating the suspect and eventually IKY, who worked as a truck driver, moved into the rented house.
“When the aunt was busy working, the suspect entered the victim’s room and forced her to have sex with him. This happened several times until the victim became pregnant,” Oka said, adding that the police had conducted a reenactment of the victim’s story on Saturday.