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Jakarta Post

Stepmother jailed for locking up children for years

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, March 12, 2019   /   03:33 pm
Stepmother jailed for locking up children for years Illustrative photo of domestic violence (Shutterstock/-)

 

The Makassar District Court in South Sulawesi has sentenced Meilania Ritali Dasilva to 18 months in prison for confining her three adopted children.

Presiding judge Rika Mona Pandegirot said Meilania had violated the 2002 Law on Child Protection.

“The defendant is guilty of child abuse and neglect. The defendant is required to pay a fine of Rp 50 million or spend an additional two months in prison,” Rika said on Monday, as quoted by news agency Antara.

The court’s verdict was lighter than the demand of state prosecutors, who had asked for the defendant to be sentenced to two years in prison.

Meilania, who used no lawyer, asked the judges for time to think about appealing the verdict.

Meanwhile, Rustiani, one of the state prosecutors, said: “I will make an appeal, your highness.”

In September last year, Meilania was found to have locked up her three adopted children AW, 11, F, 7, and DI, 3, for years. They eventually managed to escape from their home in Makassar by prying open the padlock on the door of the three-story shophouse in the Panakkukang area with an iron bar.

The case has attracted nationwide attention and media coverage.

The Makassar Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Agency said the children were suffering psychological problems as a result of the abuse. (das)