The Jakarta police announced on Saturday that Agus Darmawan, also known as Agus Pea, was responsible for the rape and murder of Putri Nur Fauziah, 9, whose body was found last week in Kalideres, West Jakarta.
“We have named Agus a suspect after the confirmation of some evidence, such as his DNA on the victim’s sock and the victim’s blood on his bed-sheet, that strongly suggests that he might have committed the crime,” Jakarta police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian told a press conference.
According to Tito, Agus admitted that he raped and murdered Putri unintentionally as he was under the influence of crystal methamphetamine, known locally as shabu-shabu.
Agus is facing multiple charges under the Criminal Code’s article 340 on premeditated murder and article 338 on murder as well as article 81 of the 2014 Child Protection Law. If proven guilty, Agus may spend the rest of his life in prison.
Jakarta police’s general crime directorate head Sr. Comr. Khrisna Murti told reporters that Agus was Putri’s neighbor and was also a former drug convict.
He appeared to be friendly to children and teenagers and he frequently invited them to play in his stall, which is located some meters away from Putri’s school, and bought them clothes.
Khrisna added that despite his kindness, Agus often displayed strange behavior such as sleeping with boys and girls in a locked and dark room.
“We also discovered that he had sexually assaulted some teenagers. According to the victims, Agus threatened them if they tried to refuse or fought against his will,” Khrisna added.
He explained that on the day of the homicide, Agus called Putri to his stall at around 9 a.m., when she was walking home from school. In the stall, he raped her and stuffed her mouth with a sock because she tried to scream.
After the rape, Agus killed Putri by strangling her with a phone-charger cable, which he later burned in his backyard along with Putri’s personal effects, including her uniform.
He threw Putri’s body in a cardboard box and dumped her seven kilometers away in an illegal garbage-site in Kamal subdistrict, Kalideres, West Jakarta, between 6 and 7 p.m. However, he left a box of evidence, including the sock, which he forgot to burn.
The sock was then used by the police to identify the perpetrator’s DNA, which matched Agus’ DNA.
The police have confiscated a number of pieces of evidence, including the sock and residue from a burned book belonging to the victim.
Tito said that the police would continue investigating the case to ascertain the possibility of other people’s involvement in the case.
The Jakarta police previously named Agus a suspect for drug possession and sexual assault while he was concurrently engaged as a witness to Putri’s death.
They found out that Agus had made a gang with 13 teenagers — three girls and 10 boys — and persuaded them to collect money for drug parties. He also assaulted them sexually.
One of the girls, identified as T, said that she had been locked and assaulted three times in Agus’ house. She also said that he carried out similar crimes against another victim, known as Y, who became pregnant and had an abortion.
Prominent children’s activist Seto Mulyadi, who visited Putri’s family on Tuesday, said that Putri’s case was one among many other sexual assault cases against children that had occurred this year.
The National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas PA) has recorded some 1,000 cases of sexual abuse against children from January to August this year.
Seto further said that children were susceptible to sexual abuse committed by close relatives, such as family members or the parents’ colleagues. According to him, the perpetrators managed to convince the parents and children to trust them.
He suggested that in order to prevent similar cases from happening in the future, parents and local officials work together to establish child protection units in each neighborhood.
The rape and murder of a 9-year-old school girl in Jakarta has renewed calls for harsher punishments for child abusers, with one prominent child protection group calling on Indonesia to adopt chemical castrations for convicted pedophiles.
The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) is planning to visit the Supreme Court on Monday to urge judges to impose harsher punishments they say will deter future offenders.
"The punishments must be harsher: from castration to the death penalty. This is what we are advocating, not just to the related ministries but also to the Supreme Court," KPAI chairman Asrorun Ni'am said as quoted by Kompas.com.
The introduction of chemical castration for pedophiles has also gained the support of Minister of Social Affairs Khofifah Indar Parawansa, who said sexual abuse against children leaves victims deeply traumatized and scarred for the rest of their lives.
"It is with this consideration, the perpetrators must be punished heavily," she said, as quoted by Liputan6.com
"In some countries, law enforcers have imposed chemical or surgical castration [on offenders]. This will deter future crimes. Even if the perpetrators are out of jail they cannot repeat their offense."
Police have arrested 39-year-old Agus Dermawan for allegedly raping and killing Putri Nur Fauziyah. Police said Agus strangled Putri with a cellphone charger cable before wrapping her body in cardboard and dumping the remains in a quiet part of Kamal, in West Jakarta's Kalideres district, on Oct. 2.
Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian, the head of the Jakarta Police, said that Agus was a pedophile who could not control his urges when using methamphetamine.
Police have been busy gathering evidence in the case and say they have found Agus' DNA on one of the socks worn by the victim. Her blood was also found on a mattress owned by the suspect, police said.
Investigators have also found the partially burned charger cable and a school book believed to have belonged to the girl.
Schoolgirl Murder Renews Call for Castrating Pedophiles, Harsher Sentencing