The Jakarta Post
The East Jakarta District Court on Monday sentenced Sunoto, 59, to 15 years' imprisonment and a fine of Rp 500,000 (US$ 50.64), or a further six months behind bars should the fine not be paid, for having raped his 11-year-old daughter, leading to her death in January.
The panel of judges handed down the maximum sentence regulated in the Child Protection Law, but it was lighter than the 18-year sentence and Rp 80 million fine, or an additional four months' prison, demanded by state prosecutors.
Presiding judge Sabarulina Ginting said the defendant was found guilty of raping his daughter twice in their home in Pulo Gebang, North Jakarta, on Oct. 16 and 19, 2012, when his wife was being treated for cancer at a hospital.
When the rapes occurred, his other five children were not in the house, Sabarulina said.
She also said that the girl, identified only as RI, contracted the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea, which her father had passed on to her.
'The defendant was proven to have the sexually transmitted disease, gonorrhea,' Sabarulina said, adding that Sunoto had also had anal sex with the victim.
RI fell into a coma weeks after she was raped and was treated at the Persahabatan Hospital in East Jakarta, she died in the first month of this year.
Doctors who conducted her autopsy found that RI had injuries to her vagina and rectum caused by a blunt object.
Sunoto's lawyer, Jarot Widodo, said that his client had confessed to his crimes once the Jakarta Police had named him a suspect after a two-week investigation.
However, when questioned by The Jakarta Post, Sunoto denied his guilt. 'I confessed that I was the perpetrator only because I wanted this problem to end as soon as possible,' he said.
'I didn't want my wife and children to be disturbed [by the police and the court].'
Sunoto told reporters he did not know who the real perpetrator was. However, he admitted that he had apologized to his family for causing them grief.
Jarot said he was disappointed in Sunoto because he had denied the accusation to reporters but did not deny it in the court proceedings.
'If he had said that he didn't rape his daughter in the court, I would have fully defended him,' Jarot said.
He added that the judges' verdict was appropriate due to his guilty plea at the last reading on June 10.
'I defended him because the prosecutor demanded imprisonment for 18 years, which was heavier than the maximum confinement of 15 years according to Law No. 23/2002 on Child Protection,' he said.
Jarot explained that he would appeal to a higher court to reduce Sunoto's sentence because his client had been very cooperative with the police and the court.
'He has confessed his wrongdoings to his family and they have forgiven him. The higher court should consider his age and education ' he is very old and can't read. Furthermore, he is the main supporter for his family, and they really need him,' he said.
Jarot added that Sunoto did not have any psychological problems.
Jarot said that he would discuss with Sunoto's family, who did not come to the court on Monday, when considering the appeal.(ian)
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