JAKARTA, Indonesia — Police have arrested a 56-year-old man in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province for allegedly raping a child inside a Catholic church nearly two years ago.
Manggarai district police said the unnamed suspect had been on the run since February 2020, reported ucanews.com.
The suspect was arrested June 27 in Labuan Bajo, said a police spokesman. He is accused of raping a 9-year-old girl from Pong Lale, a village in Manggarai district.
The alleged attack took place in the Pong Lale mission station church where the suspect worked as a caretaker, police said.
The case came to light when the victim’s father made a police complaint in November 2019.
A medical examination later confirmed the girl had been sexually assaulted and an arrest warrant was issued, the police spokesman said.
Ucnews.com reported the suspect, who is married with three children, reportedly attacked the girl after offering her candy and money.
She and her family were being assisted by several lawyers, including Father Marthen Jenarut, chairman of Ruteng Diocese’s Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, and Valens Dulmin, a lawyer with the Franciscans’ Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.
Dulmin told ucanews.com that although the arrest deserves praise, “the victim’s family would like to see justice swiftly served.”
He also said there could be more victims who have yet to come forward.
“We have information that the victim might not be the only one. There is strong suspicion that there are other victims,” he said. “If the police show resolve in prosecuting this guy, then this could encourage other victims to file complaints.”