Bali Police: Serial Rapist May Be Behind School-Girl Kidnappings

Local police say they suspect a serial rapist is behind the recent string of abductions and rapes of school girls on the resort island of Bali, where another, similar incident took place on Tuesday.

A 9-year-old schoolgirl was abducted and raped on her way home from school in broad daylight on Tuesday. Local police detectives have yet to detain a single suspect and have not reported any progress with investigations into four earlier rape cases on the island over the past two months.

Police have not ruled out the possibility that all five cases could be connected.

Tuesday’s victim, a third-grader at Sumerta Elementary School, was found nearly unconscious on Jalan Merdeka in Denpassar, after which she was rushed to Sanglah General Hospital. The girl said she had been walking home from school at around 1:30 p.m., when an unknown man on a red motorcycle approached her, saying that he had been sent by her parents to pick her up, police said.

“The unassuming girl went with him to a place in Sanur, where he raped her. After he was done, he dropped her off at a graveyard on Jalan Merdeka about 500 meters from her house,” a police source said.

Denpasar Police chief Sr. Comr. Gede Alit Widana said investigations were ongoing and police had not ruled out the possibility that one serial rapist was responsible for all five cases.

“The modus operandi in each case is similar,” Alit said. He acknowledged that police had trouble arresting the suspect because there were no witnesses and the victims could not give very detailed information.

“It is difficult for the victims to give a proper description of the rapist, “ Alit said.

The girl’s teacher, Ni Ketut Purniti, was shocked upon learning about the rape. She said the school had been giving warnings to students to refuse any strangers’ offers to take them home.

“We have been giving warnings to our students during every flag hoisting ceremony,” Ni Ketut said.

Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) Bali branch chairman Luh Anggraeni has asked police to speed up investigations into all five crimes. “The situation is extremely unsafe for Bali and parents are getting restless,” Luh said.

On Feb. 18, a 7-year-old girl was left badly bleeding and “severely traumatized,” as she walked home to her house in Denpasar after being raped. She had just finished attending a Koran recital with two of her friends at a mosque near her home when she was approached by a stranger who told the victim that he had been sent by her parents to collect her and take her to Sanur beach, where he raped her, police said.

After a number of hours, the attacker, described as “young, fair-skinned and riding a red-and-black motorcycle,” drove the bleeding victim back to where he had abducted her. Neck injuries indicated that she had fought back and been choked during her ordeal, police said.

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