Women activists and sexual abuse victims hold a rally in Jakarta in 2018 to urge the government and parliament to pass an anti-sexual violence bill. (Photo: Konradus Epa/UCA News)
As many as 300 women in Indonesia are thought to have been targeted by a former university lecturer who has admitted waging a campaign of sexual harassment against students under the guise of a sex study.
Bambang Ariyanto, a former lecturer at Nahdlatul Ulama University in Yogyakarta, is accused of making sexual advances and duping women into sleeping with him by telling them he was conducting research into recreational sex by swingers.
The students from several universities were said to have been approached by Ariyanto via the internet or by phone, where he would introduce himself as a lecturer at Gajah Mada University — one of the country’s top universities — or as someone from Nahdlatul Ulama, the biggest moderate Islamic organization in Indonesia.
The accusation against Aryanto came on Aug. 2 when one of his alleged victims, Laeliya Almushin, wrote on her Facebook that she was subjected to sexual harassment by him during a phone call.
“The post went viral on social media, prompting other victims to report [similar abuse],” Almushin told local media.
Ililian Deta Arta sari, a psychiatrist who has been contacted by some of Ariyanto’s alleged victims, said most were targeted through social media including Facebook.
She said the number of victims could be more than 300 but did not say how she arrived at this figure.