Image: A stiff penalty meted out to abuser. Credit: ST.

The man accused of sexually abusing a Chinese tourist on a jet ski, Muhammad Toha, 28, was shocked after he heard the verdict and sentencing in the Denpasar District Court on Thursday. The man who abused the female tourist in waters off Tanjung Benoa in April was sentenced to seven years in jail, which was two years more than the public prosecutor demanded.

“The defendant was proven guilty of sexually abusing the woman with violence and threatening her to satisfy his sexual needs. This crime has harmed the victim’s honor and decency and it violates Article 289 of Criminal Code,” said the judge on the trial. The Public Prosecutor, GA Surya Yunita, SH, who previously demanded the defendant to be sentenced to five years in jail, stated that his team accepted the verdict.

Meanwhile, the defendant’s lawyer, who came from the Indonesian Advocate Association (Peradi) Legal Aid Center (Posbakum) of Denpasar, stated that they will discuss the verdict with the defendant. The judges said they added more time to the sentence because the defendant’s crime had tarnished the Bali tourism industry’s image and the victim allegedly remains traumatized.

The case began when the young woman went to BMR Drive & Water Sport at Tanjung Benoa with her mother and a friend on April 23, 2019, at around 10am. After swimming in the sea for a moment, the victim wanted to try a jet ski. She bought three tickets and paid USD 35. After she completed the administration, she was accompanied by the witness, Siti Rohana, to the jet ski parking lot.

She got Jet Ski number 18 and the driver/guide was the defendant. The defendant asked the victim to sit in front of him. When they were in the middle of the sea, the defendant directed the Jet Ski away from the victim’s mother towards Serangan Island and sexually abused her. After they arrived back to the beach, the victim told her mother what had occurred, who then reported the crime to BMR Drive & Water Sport. After which, the company reported the crime to the police.

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