Herry Wirawan, an Indonesian boarding school owner who raped 13 of his minor female students, has been jailed for life.

According to Coconuts Jakarta, the Bandung District Court in Indonesia Tuesday found the 36-year-old guilty of raping 13 of his minor students. The incidents took place on various occasions from 2016. Wirawan's abuse of the girls aged 11 to 16 shocked people of Indonesia since his case emerged in 2021, reported BBC. Wirawan, who was also a religious teacher, had impregnated eight of the victims and they had given birth to nine children.

Judge Yohannes Purnomo Suryo Adi said that Wirawan had sexually groomed the 13 girls, reported CNN. The judge told the court that Wirawan was "proven guilty...of the crimes of purposely committing violence, forcing intercourse on more than one victim repeatedly."

Wirawan's lawyer, Ira Mambo, said that he would speak to his client about whether he would like to appeal the verdict.

Prosecutors wanted the court to impose a death sentence, but a bench of judges in the Bandung District Court ruled that the teacher would be sentenced to life in jail. Prosecutors' calls for Wirawan to be punished with chemical castration was also turned down.

The abuse that had been going for years was only discovered last May when the parents of one of the victims found their child was pregnant. The Indonesian court heard how Wirawan had been sexually abusing his students since the time he opened his Islamic boarding school in Bandung, West Java in 2016. Prosecutors reportedly said that Wirawan had attracted students to his college by offering scholarships and various incentives to youngsters in the impoverished area.

The girls were also vulnerable as they were staying away from their families. Their mobile phones were reportedly confiscated and trips to their home were allowed only once a year. The Indonesian government will pay up to 85 million Indonesian rupiahs ($5945) in compensation to each of Wirawan's victim.

This case renewed anger in the Asian country over the rates of sexual violence and abuse of women. Indonesia has several Islamic boarding schools and other religious schools that usually provide the only way for the kids of underprivileged families to get an education.

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