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Jakarta Post

JIS victim does not have herpes, says microbiologist

  • Fedina S. Sundaryani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, November 20, 2014   /  11:06 am

A microbiologist claimed on Wednesday during his testimony at the South Jakarta District Court that there was no indication of herpes in any of the medical examination results of a six-year-old boy who was allegedly abused at the Jakarta International School earlier this year.

'€œIn my expert opinion, the medical examination results were in no way proof that the victim had any sexually transmitted illness,'€ director of the Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit in Central Jakarta, John Kevin Baird, told The Jakarta Post.

Baird, who has a degree in microbiology and biochemistry but specializes in malaria, testified as an expert witness summoned by the lawyers of the five outsourced cleaners from PT Integrated Service Solutions (ISS) accused of having committed sexual abuse.

The dossiers stated that the victim tested positive for antibodies for herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2), a virus that could lead to genital herpes, using the immunoglobulin M (IgM) test at the SOS Medika Clinic in South Jakarta.

However, Baird explained that the IgM test was highly inaccurate and was not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a method to test for genital herpes.

This meant that the only evidence that showed the victim may have had herpes was not credible, he said.

During a previous hearing, the SOS Medika Clinic pediatrician, Narain Punjabi, himself said that the test only showed signs of antibodies for genital herpes and needed further testing for confirmation.

State prosecutors have indicted five cleaners '€” Afrischa Setyani, Virgiawan Amin, Zainal Abidin, Syahrial and Agun Iskandar '€” for having sexually abused the victim on two occasions in a rest room at JIS at the start of the year.

During the investigation, the defendants, among several other cleaners, were also tested at the Bhayangkara National Police Hospital for herpes. However, they were tested using the immunoglobulin G (IgG) test and the doctor who conducted the test previously testified that most of them tested positive for HSV-2 antibodies.

Baird said that the IgG test was incredibly accurate.

'€œSo, if you look at the facts that the boy was not infected with anything and the defendants were shown as having herpes, how was it possible that they could have sex with the victim multiple times for a span of several months?'€ he said.

A medical examination at the Pondok Indah Hospital in South Jakarta, which showed the victim tested positive for genital herpes, was included in the indictment. However, the doctor who conducted the examination did not testify.

Separately, Virgiawan and Agun'€™s lawyer, Patra M. Zen, said the head of the JIS facilities department, Robert Giannella, also testified at the hearing.

Patra said that Giannella addressed allegations that the school had renovated the rest room where the victim was allegedly abused before the police investigation was complete.

'€œHe told the panel of judges that the rest room'€™s renovation was only done after the police had finished their investigation at the crime scene. Giannella said that the cubicle doors were trimmed to increase security measures following the revelation of the case,'€ he said.

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