Jakarta, Apr 4 (EFE).- An Indonesian teacher was sentenced to death on Monday for raping 13 underage students, after the prosecution appealed against an earlier ruling of a life sentence, the High Court of Bandung, in West Java, said in its ruling posted on its website.
Herry Wirawan, 36, had been convicted of raping 13 of his minor students at a Muslim boarding school, and was sentenced to life imprisonment on Feb.15, and asked to pay an indemnity of between 10 and 85 million rupees ($679-$5,928) to each victim.
The public prosecutor’s office decided to appeal the sentence and call for capital punishment, which was upheld Monday by the Bandung court.
It remains to be seem whether the defendant’s lawyers make appeal against this recent verdict.
The abuses came to light when the family of one of the students reported Wirawan to the police for raping and impregnating their teenage daughter last year.
During the trial, the teacher was found to have raped 13 girls – many from poor families – over a period of five years at the Madani Boarding School in Bandung.
The scandal involving Wirawan, in which he had impregnated at least eight students, drew attention to sexual abuse in religious boarding schools in the country, and increased calls for a law against sexual violence that was in the pipeline for years.
There are more than 25,000 “pesantren” or religious schools across the country, in which nearly five million children live and study, combining regular classes with Koran studies.
Last year, 14 of the 18 cases of sexual abuse reported in Indonesia – the country with the largest number of Muslims in the world – were from these religious schools. EFE