Indonesia teacher handed death sentence for raping 13 students
An Indonesian teacher found guilty of raping 13 students at an Islamic boarding school, and who impregnated at least eight of the victims, was sentenced to death on Monday.
Herry Wirawan, 36, had been sentenced to life in prison in February, in a case that drew national attention to sexual abuse in Indonesia's religious schools.
But prosecutors, who had requested the death penalty and chemical castration, filed an appeal.
"We accept the appeal of the prosecutors," read the judge's statement, published on Monday on the website of the High Court in Bandung, West Java province.
"We hereby punish the defendant to a death sentence."
Wirawan was not in court for the appeal, a spokesperson told AFP.
Indonesia has held off conducting executions for several years, with the last-known examples having taken place in 2016.
Wirawan's pattern of abuse came to light when the family of a female student reported him to police for raping and impregnating their teenage daughter last year.
During his previous trial, it was revealed Wirawan had raped the female students over a period of five years. He also impregnated at least eight of them.
Before the lower court, the defendant asked the judge for leniency, saying he wanted to be around to raise his children.
The case drew national outrage in Indonesia and increased pressure on parliament to approve a long-delayed bill on the "elimination of sexual violence", that seeks to combat sex crimes and provide justice to victims, including in cases of marital rape.
The rape case has also shone a spotlight on the problem of sexual abuse in the Indonesian education system, with 14 out of the 18 cases reported to the Child Protection Commission last year taking place in Islamic boarding schools.
The country has more than 25,000 Islamic boarding schools, with nearly five million students living and studying in their dorms.