The Jakarta Post
Police in South Tangerang, Banten, have arrested a rape suspect who had remained at large for nearly a year since the victim filed the report on the day the assault reportedly took place.
South Tangerang Police head of criminal investigation Adj. Comr. Muharam Wibisono said the suspect, identified only as RI, had been arrested at his residence in the Parigi area of Pondok Aren on Saturday evening.
“We have questioned the perpetrator since the arrest, and he has confessed his action. The confessions he made were identical to the details the victim had reported,” Muharam told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
The incident came to light recently after the alleged victim turned to social media to express her frustration over the protracted investigation into the case that reportedly happened in August last year.
In an Instagram post that has since gone viral, the victim said RI was a stranger who had suddenly entered her house in the morning of Aug. 13.
She wrote that she initially mistook the man for someone she knew since she had only just woken up. When she followed him to her dressing room, she realized that the man was a stranger she had never seen.
She said the man subsequently beat her with what she believed was a piece of metal until she was almost unconscious and raped her.
On the same day, the victim said, she was taken to a hospital for a physical examination for a police report that she filed shortly after. She also said RI had texted her that day to apologize, before also threatening her.
“I would not have [shared this post] if the police had taken action, but by law, I do not have enough evidence to put this [expletive] in jail, so all I can do is expose him,” she wrote in the caption of the post, in which she also posted pictures of CCTV footage purportedly showing the perpetrator.
In the Instagram post, she also showed several screenshots of texts and nude photographs that the alleged perpetrator reportedly sent to her.
Muharam, however, claimed that the victim had not included RI’s texts to her in her police report. He said the investigation had taken a long time as the police needed to find and confirm the identity of the suspect.
“So, it was not a lack of evidence that hindered the investigation. We had the victim’s report, information from the witnesses and a physical examination result, which were enough to identify a criminal offense,” he said.
“But we did not have the suspect’s identity. And when we did have a name, with the help of the police’s cybercrime unit, we had to confirm that it was the right person,” he added.
Human rights activists have raised their voice over this case, reiterating the importance and urgency of passing the sexual violence eradication bill (RUU PKS), which has been removed from this year’s priority legislation list by the House of Representatives.
Uli Pangaribuan of the Legal Aid Foundation of the Indonesian Women’s Association for Justice’s Jakarta office previously told the Post that the victim had contacted the foundation for legal assistance. Uli regretted that the police provided no updates to the victim since the report had been filed.