Forensic Psychologist: No Evidence of Sexual Violence in JIS Case 

The following article was published on March 11th, 2016 and provides details on the review of trial by a Forensic Psychologist. There is also brief comment from Neil’s legal team on the Judicial Review.

TRIBUNNEWS.COM, JAKARTA – From a forensic psychology perspective, evidence in the trial for the alleged sexual abuse case involving three former Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) kindergarten students did not indicate sexual violence. Because the evidence revealed during the trial was not that of sexual violence.

This opinion was expressed by Forensic Psychology expert from the University of Indonesia, Reza Indragiri Amriel. Reza has meticulously examined documents from the JIS case trial to learn about efforts to prove that sexual violence had indeed taken place.

“I pored over the documents from the trial, and did not find any evidence of sexual violence among them,” Reza said, Friday, (11/3/2016) in Jakarta.

The case of alleged sex abuse at JIS has implicated six cleaners who worked at JIS. They are Virgiawan Amin, Agun Iskandar, Zainal Abidin, Syahrial, the late Azwar, and  Afrischa Setyani, who were accused of sexual abuse committed against MAK. Aside from that, accusations were also made against two JIS teachers Neil Bantleman and Ferdinand Tjiong, with MAK, DA and AL as victims. According to the parents who made the report, the abuse took place sometime between December 2013 through March 2014.

Victims of sexual violence, Reza continues, have specific characteristics. But as these characteristics can also be evident in non-sexual violence (victims), one needs to distinguish whether they are the result of sexual violence or other types of violence. “To be able to identify whether there has been sexual violence and (to determine) the type of violence committed against the child, an examination conducted from the forensic medicine perspective is necessary. Based on the documents I saw, I believe no evidence of sexual violence exists.” he reiterated.

Thus, the characteristics or symptoms initially believed to be the effects of sexual violence are not specific characteristics or symptoms. “From there, I frankly disagree with the Supreme Court’s verdict. However, I respect the Justices’ decision. (What is left) is the Judicial Review, additional evidence hopefully will be able to better reveal  what really happened,” he explained.

Meanwhile, in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling, the legal representative of the two JIS teachers Patra M Zen revealed that in October 2015, MAK was declared to have never contracted a sexually transmitted disease by a clinic in Belgium.  His party is currently in the process of obtaining the medical record from Belgium because it will be treated as new evidence (novum) to file for a Judicial Review (JR) to the Supreme Court (SC).

“This information was obtained from a Canadian journalist who conducted an investigation and was able to discover evidence from October, if (I’m) not mistaken, the year 2015. The child was re-examined there, the results came back negative and we are currently trying to obtain (the said results) as evidence for Judicial Review,” said Patra to the media, Friday (26/2).

On February 24, 2016,  the SC decided to annul the decision of a DKI Jakarta High Court which had previously acquitted Neil and Ferdi, who had been reported by parents of MAK, DA and AL. According to Supreme Court’s Panel of Judges led by Artidjo Alkostar, the legal implementation of the DKI Jakarta High Court was flawed, adding the sentence to 11 years of imprisonment.

In fact, DKI Jakarta High Court had already made the evaluation that the South Jakarta District Court’s considerations were inaccurate because they were based on the statements of underage victims and expert witness(es). Moreover, there are a few irregularities in the JIS Case. One of which has to do with the examination results which were made as the ground for indictments made by the Public Prosecutor. DKI Jakarta High Court then overturned the 10-year verdict handed down by the South Jakarta District Court.

From the onset, public opinion mounted against JIS, and the case had a tendency to be forced, in the face of overwhelming sexual abuse allegations against the school. One of the irregularities was that Azwar died while the investigation by Regional Police Polda Metro Jaya was underway, he was found with facial contusions and fractured lip. Investigators coerced confessions out of  Virgiawan Amin, Agun Iskandar, Zainal Abidin, Syahrial and the late Azwar while they were detained, involving violence. The case made against two JIS teachers Neil Bantleman and Ferdinand Tjiong was also rife with irregularities, particularly as the two were elementary school teachers and had never met the three children claimed as victims.