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US teenager detained for murder of mother was sexually attacked in Bali jail: Lawyer

Published on Aug 19, 2014 1:06 PM
A policewoman escorts Heather Mack (right), suspected in the murder of her mother Sheila von Wiese Mack, while in custody at Bali police hospital in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Aug 15, 2014 after authorities said they were on Aug14 conducting mental health checks on the US teenager. -- PHOTO: AFP

DENPASAR, Bali - An American teenager suspected of killing her mother in Bali has been sexually assaulted multiple times in her prison cell, her lawyer claimed.

But the 19-year-old is not sure whether it was fellow inmates or guards who assaulted her, her Chicago attorney Michael Elkin told MailOnline.

"It is very disconcerting," he was quoted as saying. "She initially thought it was fellow inmates, but now she has discovered that not all the guards are wearing official uniform."

Heather and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, were arrested on Aug 13 over the murder of Sheila von Wiese-Mack in the luxury St. Regis hotel in Bali where they were three days into a 10-day vacation.

Mrs Mack's body was found stuffed into a suitcase that police claimed the young couple had placed in the boot of a taxi. They told the driver they would be back but instead fled to another hotel.

It is believed that the 62-year-old widow was bludgeoned to death with a heavy glass ashtray and vase, with such violence that both objects shattered, according to MailOnline.

The news website quoted the lawyer as saying his client was distraught when he spoke to her by phone several times.

"'She was tearful, she is being mistreated," he said, adding that the information she could give him was limited as he was worried their phone calls were being monitored.

"'I have told her she can only give me yes or no answers,'' the report quoted him as saying.

"I asked her if she was being mistreated and she said yes. I started going through questions and asked her if she had been touched inappropriately and she said yes. I asked her if it was in the female area and she said yes. I asked her if it was on more than one occasion and she said yes.

"I asked her if it was consensual and she said no. I could not go into the specifics of whether there was an actual rape or whether it was sexual assault, molesting, call it what you will. I cannot say for sure it was intercourse,'' he said.

NBC Chicago also quoted the lawyer as saying his client is two months pregnant and he has serious concerns about her health. She sounded dazed, confused and incoherent during their conversation, the lawyer said.

When asked why she sounded incoherent, the teen reportedly said she was not given enough water and had been given strange vitamin pills by authorities, according to the report.

Meantime, news website - - reported that the young couple had both complained that they had been given a meal from Kentucky Fried Chicken. They were reportedly upset that authorities had presumed they would want fried chicken because they are black.

Police were taken aback at this allegation, claiming that in Bali, KFC is expensive for the average income earner and is not for the lower wage earners, reported the website.

It quoted Bali chief Djoko Hari Utomo as saying: "We have already given treatment that is more than normal.. We give the same food for all suspects. We also give special attention to her as she is still young."

He said if her lawyer wanted to allege that the police had used violence towards Mack, he was welcome to provide evidence of this, according to the report.

The couple could be sentenced to death if they are charged and then found guilty of murdering Mack's mother.

But her pregnancy could complicate police calls for her to face the firing squad over a crime which they believe was premeditated and should carry the death penalty, said the news portal.

It also reported that the victim's body is expected to be returned to the United States on Wednesday after an autopsy on the weekend found she had suffered a broken neck, broken nose and asphyxiation.

Dr Ida Bagus Putu Alit, from the forensic team, said the autopsy found signs of violence from blunt objects and many defensive wounds, indicating that the victim had fought hard for her life.