Rape victim files lawsuit against police over alleged negligence in investigation

Thirteen lawyers forming an advocacy team are filing a lawsuit against the National Police chief and the Sikka Police chief in East Nusa Tenggara for allegedly neglecting a sexual abuse case against a minor in 2016.

The lawyers represent the parents of the victim, who was an elementary school student when she was allegedly raped by a man identified only as JLW.

“We decided to file a lawsuit against the police since they detained the suspect for three weeks before eventually releasing him,” lawyer Yohanes Dominus Tukan said on Wednesday, as quoted by kompas.com.

The victim was searching for firewood at her parent’s plantation, which is located around 150 meters from her house.

Upon arriving at the plantation, JLW reportedly approached the victim and offered her Rp 50,000 (US$3.36) the girl refused and JLW then raped her.

Yohanes said the victim’s parents had reported the case to the police in 2016. However, the police had still made no progress in the case four years later.

Reynaldus Marianus Laka, the chairman of the Indonesian Advocates Association (Peradi) in Sikka regency, said the lawyers had found several irregularities in the case.

The law stipulates that a rape case involving a minor should enter the trial phase within a month of the report being submitted. However, the case showed no progress four years after her parents filed a report to the police.

Responding to the lawsuit, Sikka Police’s criminal investigation unit head First Insp. Wahyu Agha Septyan said the force had already dealt with the case. However, the investigation was hindered by unclear directions from the prosecutors.

“We’ve already reopened this case. We are handing over the case from Paga district Police to [Sikka Police] so the investigation can proceed faster,” said Wahyu. (dpk)

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