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Jakarta Post

Surabaya pastor named suspect for alleged sexual abuse of a minor

  • Asip Hasani

    The Jakarta Post

Surabaya   /   Thu, March 12, 2020   /   08:32 pm
Surabaya pastor named suspect for alleged sexual abuse of a minor A pastor at a Protestant church in Surabaya, East Java, has been named a suspect for allegedly sexually abusing a minor, the East Java police confirmed on Thursday. (Shutterstock/File)

A pastor at a Protestant church in Surabaya, East Java, has been named a suspect for allegedly sexually abusing a minor, the East Java police confirmed on Thursday.

The 50-year-old man, identified by the initials HL, is currently in police custody and has undergone a psychological examination at the East Java police headquarters. 

East Java police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Trunoyudho Wisnu Andiko said the examination was meant to determine HL’s mental state. 

"It is a procedure in which police determine if a perpetrator of a crime is mentally sound,” Trunoyudho told The Jakarta Post on Thursday. “HL’s psychological examination is also aimed at uncovering the background of his alleged crime."

Trunoyudho acknowledged that HL had confessed to sexually abusing a minor over a period of seven years but added that obtaining a confession was not the police investigators' goal in carrying out the criminal prosecution. 

He said collecting evidence was much more significant for the police in handling any criminal case. 

"We have so far questioned at least six witnesses," he said. 

The victim, identified as IW, now 26, alleged that HL had sexually abused her from 2005 – when she was only 12 years old – to 2011.

East Java police arrested HL on Saturday, two weeks after IW's family filed a report with the police on Feb. 20. HL had allegedly been planning to flee the country at the time of his arrest.

IW’s wedding was what caused her family to report the crime. Her family, who are members of HL’s church, wanted the wedding ceremony to be held at the church. 

"We have also provided psychological counseling to IW, since the investigation must have reignited her trauma," Trunoyudho said. 

Trunoyudho declined to say whether there were any other victims, saying that the investigation was underway.