JAKARTA • Seven Indonesian teenagers have been jailed for the brutal murder and gang rape of a 14-year-old girl that sparked a national debate on sexual violence.
They were among a gang who set upon the schoolgirl while she was on her way home in a small village on the western island of Sumatra. Her battered body, tied up and naked, was found three days later in the woods.
Twelve people have been arrested. Yesterday, seven of them, aged 16 to 17, were found guilty at a court in the Curup district of Sumatra and sentenced to 10 years in jail each, Agence France-Presse reported.
Police are investigating the other five, while two more suspects are still on the run.
The crime took place early last month but it caught the attention of the nation only a month later, as reports of the incident went viral on social media and tens of thousands signed online petitions.
Meanwhile, Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna H. Laoly said yesterday that Indonesia is extending the jail terms of rapists and sex offenders from 15 years to 20 years, and even life sentences in more severe cases.
"They may also be given the death penalty if the victim dies," he was quoted as saying by the Tempo news site.