Indonesian Prominent Poet Sitok Srengenge is facing jail time for allegedly molesting and impregnating a university student. Sitok was reported to the Jakarta Police for “unpleasant conduct” by a 22-year-old student of the University of Indonesia.
The victim’s lawyer, Paulus Irawan, said Sitok had forced the victim to have sex with him. Sitok, whose real name is Sitok Sunarto, was accused of refusing to take responsibility after the victim was found out to be pregnant.
“He has impregnated the victim and acted as if he is untouched before the law. This is an insult against women,” Paulus said.
One of the victim’s lecturers, Lily Tjahjandari, said her student had suffered from serious psychological problems because of what happened to her.
“We fully support a full investigation into this case,” she said.
Another lecturer from University of Indonesia’s School of Literature and Culture, Saraswati Dewi, said the lecturers decided to help the victim in order to end abuse and harassment against women in general.
“These kinds of unpleasant acts which have victimized young girls must be stopped. We don’t want to see more people become victims,” she said.
Saraswati said the victim and her family had been trying to make Sitok take responsibility for six months. However, she said, Sitok did not respond to her pleas and she decided to turn to the campus for help.
The victim has also reported the case to the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) to report the sexual harassment.
“In the beginning nobody paid attention to this case because the victim shut herself down and was very depressed,” Saraswati said.
She said she had contacted Sitok on behalf of the victim, who was her student, and he admitted to her that he had approached the victim and had a sexual relationship with her.
“He admitted the victim did not approach him and he also said he was guilty,” she said.
Saifulloh Ramdani, the head of the student body at UI’s School of Literature and Culture, has also condemning the alleged indecent act.
Saifulloh said that the victim, who is said to be seven months’ pregnant now, could barely communicate because of the severe depression she was suffering. Saifulloh said she was very traumatized and unable to report the alleged rape. Friends, family and her lecturers had tried for three months to get her to report the case to the police.
Sitok has not responded to the case, but his daughter denied her father raped the victim as claimed. In an open letter she posted on her blog, Laire Siwi Mentari said Sitok admitted to having sex with the victim but claimed it was consensual.
“The accusation that my father has raped her and ran away from his responsibility is not true,” Laire wrote. She said her father had been trying to contact the victim’s family but was rejected.