DENPASAR • Robert Andrew Fiddell Ellis, 70, an Australian, appeared in a Bali court yesterday in connection with a string of offences involving sexual abuse of children.
Ellis, who has been living in Bali for years, was arrested on Jan 11 as he was returning with two children to his rented house in Tabanan, a town in central Bali, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
He was accused of sexually abusing at least 15 girls, aged between seven and 17, in Bali. Four of his alleged victims, all street children, claimed he had lured them with money, toys and clothes to his home.
The children told police he had molested them in a bath, reported news.com.au.
He was arrested after a charity, suspicious of his frequent visits, tipped off police.
Speaking to the media from his cell in the Denpasar District Attorney Office last month, Ellis had said he hoped "people are reasonable and no one sees a minor offence as a major offence".
When asked why he had abused the victims, he was quoted by the Australian Associated Press as replying: "I don't really know."
Ellis was believed to be part of an international paedophile ring.
He is expected to be charged with threatening, forcing, persuading or deceiving children to perform a lewd act, and faces 15 years in jail.