The Jakarta Post
Deli Serdang Police have arrested seven students of a vocational school in Deli Serdang regency, North Sumatra and are searching for another in connection with alleged gang rape conducted several times against a 16-year-old junior.
Police are tracking down a student suspected to have planned the alleged rape, the head of Criminal Investigation Unit at Deli Serdang Police Sr. Muhammad Firdaus said.
“The perpetrators are the victim’s seniors. We are hunting down [...] the mastermind. We have put him on the wanted list,” he said on Wednesday.
He alleged the missing boy was the one who first asked the female student to come to the empty canteen and lab room at the school, to which they were reportedly followed by the remaining accused.
The seven arrested students have all been named suspects.
The arrests were made after victim’s parents filed a report to police on Tuesday. The students were arrested the day after when they were hanging out together.
Firdaus said the suspects could be charged under the 2002 Child Protection Law, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years' imprisonment upon conviction.
The mother of the victim said her daughter was gang-raped several times with the first incident allegedly occurring in December 2019. She claimed the rapes continued in January.
The mother said the family found out about the assaults when the reported victim’s older sister opened her mobile phone on Tuesday and discovered threatening messages allegedly from the school boys.
“Her sister checked her sister’s phone and found screenshots from a video of the alleged rape. When asked, my daughter then admitted that she was raped by her seniors,” the mother said.
She said her daughter kept it to herself over fear that the video would be made public.
“She was afraid to speak up because her seniors threatened to publish the rape videos,” the mother said.
The victim was still suffering severe trauma, her mother said, adding that based on her daughter’s statement the accused raped her in turns.
The girl’s father said his daughter told him she wanted to quit school and she escaped from the house for several days.
The chairman of Deli Serdang Child Protection Agency, Junaidi Malik, said he hoped those responsible would be harshly punished.
The chairman of National Commission for Child Protection, Arist Merdeka Sirait, said the same, even though some of the perpetrators are still under age.
“Although they are still in the child-age category, they must take legal responsibility,” he said, referring to the 2012 Juvenile Justice System Law as the basis of the legal process.