Indonesian Teacher Sentenced to Death for Raping and Impregnating Students

An Indonesian court sentenced an Indonesian teacher to death on Monday for raping 13 students at an Islamic boarding school and impregnating at least eight of the victims upholding an appeal by prosecutors for the death penalty after the court initially sentenced him to life in prison.

Herry Wirawan, 36, had been sentenced to life imprisonment in February in a case that drew national attention to sexual abuse in the country’s religious schools.

“We accept the appeal of the prosecutors. We hereby punish the defendant to a death sentence,” the decision read on Monday on the High Court in Bandung, West Java province website.

During Wirawan’s previous trial, the court found out that Wirawan had raped the female students – many from poor families and attending the school on scholarships – for over five years and impregnated eight victims.

Wirawan had asked the lower court for leniency, saying he wanted to be around to raise his children.

“We initially wanted punishments of life in prison and chemical castration so that he would feel the pain from his crime. But, we still feel the death sentence represents justice,” said Hidmat Dijaya, uncle of one of the victims.

Indonesia has not conducted any executions for several years, and the last known execution took place in 2016.

The Bandung rape case has highlighted problems of sexual abuse in the Indonesian education system, with 14 out of the 18 cases happening in Islamic boarding schools reported to the Child Protection Commission last year.

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