The Hasanuddin Military District Command (Kodam) XIV has handed over Army deserter Adrianus Pattyan, 25, for further questioning as a civilian for allegedly kidnapping and raping six young girls, the Southeast Sulawesi Police have said.

Adrianus allegedly assaulted the girls after he was dismissed for desertion on April 9.

Southeast Sulawesi Police spokesperson Adj. Sr. Comr. Harry Golden Hart said Adrianus was transferred to the police as a civilian on Friday. Investigators are currently questioning him as a suspect.

“We are still trying to ascertain the motive and gathering evidence. The process is still ongoing,” Harry said.

Adrianus was sentenced to one year in prison by the Makassar military court after his arrest by a joint military and police team on Wednesday, according to Hasanuddin Military District Commander Maj. Gen. Surawahadi, but he could not be held in a military prison because he is no longer part of the Indonesian Military (TNI).

“Detainees at military facilities are TNI members who are being rehabilitated. People like [Adrianus] are not worthy of being held in a military prison. He should be in a civil prison instead,” Surawahadi said.

A transfer to the police meant that Adrianus would receive an additional sentence to the one he already has, Surawahadi added.

Kendari Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Jemy Junaedi confirmed that Adrian was being held by the Southeast Sulawesi Police.

On Friday, a number of women and children activists from various institutions visited Military Resort Command (Korem) Haluoleo in Kendari, urging Kodam Hasanuddin to transfer Adrianus to a civilian court to ensure transparency in the case. They were worried that the alleged perpetrator would remain in military police custody.

They further asked Southeast Sulawesi Governor Ali Mazi and Kendari Mayor Sulkarnain to protect the victims and their families during the legal process.

They also urged the House of Representatives to support the long-awaited sexual violence bill.

The bill was first proposed in 2016 after the gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Bengkulu. (ggq)