Indonesian janitors get up to 8 years in rape case

Indonesian janitors get up to 8 years in rape case

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An Indonesian court sentenced five janitors Monday to up to eight years in prison over the rape of a kindergartner at an international school in Indonesia.

The custodians contracted to work at the Jakarta International School were arrested in April following reports from parents of a 6-year-old boy who claimed to have been sodomized. Police said a sixth suspect committed suicide while in custody after drinking bathroom cleanser.

In their separate verdicts, judges at the South Jakarta District Court concluded that all the defendants were guilty of violating the country's Child Protection Law and Criminal Code.

Four male defendants were sentenced to eight years, while the only woman in the case received seven years as an accomplice.

All the defendants were also fined to pay $8,000 respectively or serve three more months in jail.

Their lawyers contended that the evidence was weak since medical reports found the boy had no major injuries or abnormalities. Prosecutors said the boy had been sodomized up to 13 times.

"The verdicts were unfair," said Patra M. Zein, one of the lawyers. "We will appeal, and hopefully we will get justice from the higher courts."

A Canadian teacher, Neil Bantleman, and an Indonesian teaching assistant, Ferdinant Tjiong, also went on trial earlier this month over the case. They are accused of sexually abusing the boy and two other students.

Both maintained their innocence. The school's principal and a number of fellow teachers also say the two are innocent.

The school is attended by children of foreign diplomats, ex-patriots and Indonesia's elite. It has 2,400 students aged 3 to 18 from about 60 countries.

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