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Indonesia

Bogus sex study claims '300 victims' in Indonesia

Former lecturer admits sexually harassing students by claiming he was conducting research on swingers

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Bogus sex study claims '300 victims' in Indonesia

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)

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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.

On Aug 4, Ariyanto admitted his study was false and issued an apology. "My research on swingers was a lie because the truth is I just wanted to fantasize about swinging,” he said in a video uploaded on YouTube.

He also admitted to having met some of the women and having sex with them.
 
Nahdlatul Ulama University, one of the universities targeted, has established a complaint page to encourage victims to come forward.
 
Holy Spirit Sister Sesilia Ketut, who heads the Women and Children Protection Forum in Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara, called the former lecturer’s actions “shameful.”
 
“He should have set an example, so must be punished accordingly,” she told UCA News.
 
The nun warned women to be more careful regarding sexual predators who often use social media to find their targets.
 
Zoya Amirin, a sexual psychologist, said Ariyanto actions were cold and calculated and should be prosecuted. “He has likely caused distress to many victims,” she told UCA News.

Yogyakarta police spokesman Yuliyanto said police have yet to receive a formal complaint against Ariyanto.

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