The Jakarta Post
Two Jakarta International School (JIS) teaching staff were declared suspects on Thursday for the alleged sexual assault of a kindergarten pupil.
Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto confirmed that Canadian Neil Bantleman and Indonesian Ferdinand Tjiong were now suspects after analyzing the result of a medical examination from the hospital and the case reconstruction and questioning them.
'Yes [they were all named as suspects] after a case expose on Thursday morning. The evidence we gathered was the victim's medical examinations as well as testimonies from witnesses and the victim himself,' Rikwanto told The Jakarta Post via text message on Thursday.
However, Rikwanto did not specify which case Bantleman and Ferdinand were named suspects in.
Meanwhile, he said that kindergarten and elementary school principal Elsa Donohue as of Thursday night was still a witness.
Rikwanto said that one of the victims claimed to have been drugged by Donohue prior to being sexually assaulted. He said, the police would question Donohue on Friday regarding that allegation.
Responding to the development of the case, lawyer for the three JIS teaching staff Hotman Paris Hutapea said that declaring the two teachers suspects was a big mistake by the police.
He said that the police were inhumane because they named his two clients as suspects only based on the statements of the three victims, which were 'not worthy legal evidence', and called it 'barbaric'.
'This is totally not in line with our constitution,' Hotman told the Post on Thursday.
He said that when his clients were questioned by the police last week, they challenged them to show evidence that could prove that they abused the three underage students.
However, the police could not fulfill the demand.
'[The police] could not show to us even one piece of evidence,' he said.
Hotman said that he would go to the National Police headquarters immediately to protest the Jakarta Police's investigations as they had broken the law by naming his clients as suspects without any evidence.
So far, the parents of three JIS boys have come forward and filed police reports claiming their sons were sexually assaulted. All three cases have implicated JIS staffers.
Previously, Donohue, Bantleman and Ferdinand filed a police report concerning what they deemed to be slanderous allegations made by the mother of one of the victims.
They accused the mother of disseminating messages that accused them of being pedophiles to other parents and JIS staff members without any legal grounds.
'According to the messages distributed by the mother, Neil had sexually assaulted her son, assisted by Ferdinand, while Elsa video-taped everything,' Hotman said at that time.
The mother was the second parent to file a sexual assault report against JIS staff with the National Police.
The complaint was filed on May 24 and delegated to the Jakarta Police four days later.
Hotman also underlined that it was strange that the first victim, who was allegedly raped by six outsourced cleaning workers from PT ISS, suddenly also claimed to have been raped by the JIS staff.
Meanwhile, six ISS cleaners, one of which committed suicide while in police custody, have been named suspects for the sexual assault of the first victim.
The cleaning workers are scheduled to stand trial soon as their dossiers have already been submitted to the South Jakarta Prosecutors Office. (dwa/alz/idb)