Mon, 12 Jun 2000

Child rape cases rising: Police

JAKARTA (JP): City police have recorded four significant child rape cases since May this year, with the latest one in Pamulang, South Jakarta, which involved at least five minors on Saturday.

"Such heinous crimes are not uncommon, but they are rarely reported to the police, so we normally are of no help to the victims. Parents must report to the police. They are also allowed to make a citizen's arrests of a rapist, as long as they hand us the suspect," secretary to city police spokesman Maj. Alex Mandalika said.

In the latest case, a man identified as Suryadi, 35, surrendered on Saturday evening to the Pamulang Police over the alleged rape of five boys, aged between five and 13, in his neighborhood.

Sgt. Maj. Amir Machmud of the Pamulang Police crime scene unit said that Suryadi, who lives with his parents in the Pondok Cabe Udik area of Pamulang, surrendered in fear of reprisal from the boys' parents.

"He has confessed to having continuously raped the boys behind his house," Amir told The Jakarta Post.

"We are still investigating this case, since there could have been more victims."

Separately, a woman reported on May 28 this year at the East Jakarta Police station that a 12-year-old boy had raped her seven-year-old daughter.

The seven-year-old girl identified the 12-year-old junior high school student, who the police then arrested on June 5.

The East Jakarta Police chief of detectives for prostitution, Second. Lt. Suharto, showed the Post a confession reportedly signed by the suspect that stated he had "playfully" raped the girl while an 11-year-old friend held the girl down.

Suharto said the 12 year old had confessed to watching a pornographic movie at a cousin's house a month before the incident.

He also said that in early May, three men in East Jakarta had lured a young girl with a Popsicle, drove her to a secluded place in Ancol, North Jakarta, where they took turns in raping her continuously before dumping her in Ancol.

"Some men came across her and immediately alerted the police. When we got the news, we instantly alerted the girl's parents who had earlier made a missing persons report," Suharto said.

"We have not exposed the suspects' identities to the media since the men are still at large."

The fourth reported case was that of the rape of a 16-month- old daughter of a couple who live in Depok.

Based on the reports and after three months of searching, the police named a close friend of the infant's father as the sole suspect in the case. (ylt)