JAYAPURA, PAPUA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Three suspects in the rape and murder of a five-year-old girl in Sorong, West Papua, may face the death penalty if found guilty of the crimes, a police chief has said.
Sorong Police chief Edfrie R.Maith said the three suspects would be charged under the 2016 Child Protection Law, which includes chemical castration as one of the punishments.
Article 81 (5) of the newly passed law carries a maximum sentence of the death penalty. It also carries sanctions of life imprisonment and a prison sentence ranging from 10 to 20 years.
"In the 2016 Child Protection Law, there is an article that stipulates the death sentence [for perpetrators of crimes against children]. This law is new and has never been used. We will use it for this case," Edfrie told The Jakarta Post on Saturday (Jan 14).
Various societal elements in Sorong have staged rallies over the crimes, demanding authorities to punish the suspected child rapists with the death sentence, which they deemed "most suitable" for the alleged perpetrators.
Apart from death penalty, the law also carries additional sanctions for perpetrators of sex crimes against children, including the disclosure of their identities as stated on Article 81 (6).
It is stipulated in Article 81 (7) that the perpetrators may face chemical castration and the assembling of electronic detection tools in their bodies.
The rape and murder victim was found dead in a mud hole in a swamp on Jl.Basuki Rahmat near the runway of Domine Eduard Osok Airport in Klasabi subdistrict, Sorong Manoi district, on Tuesday. She had been reported missing.
The victim's sibling reportedly saw the three alleged perpetrators take the victim towards a swamp near the tip of the airport's runway.
Based on the information, the police, the victim's family and locals searched the area, where they finally found the dead body.
"The alleged perpetrators were the victim's neighbours. They kidnapped the victim while her parents weren't home," said Edfrie.
The three suspects, Donald Wanggaimo, 20, Lewi Gogoba, 20, and Nando Kinombae, 19, are being detained at the Sorong Police.
Edfrie claimed the alleged perpetrators were under the influence of alcohol while committing the crimes.
"When they were arrested, they were still drunk," he said.