Francois Camille Abello is seen here at a police press conference on July 9 announcing his arrest for allegedly raping 305 young girls in Jakarta. (Photo: Archie Bhadrika/AFP)
A Frenchman arrested for allegedly raping and sexually assaulting hundreds of underage girls has died after an apparent suicide attempt in a police jail in Jakarta.
Police spokesman, Yusri Yunus, said Francois Camille Abello, 65, was found unresponsive in his cell with a length of wire round his neck on July 9.
He said Abello died three days later on July 12 days while being treated in hospital.
"His neck was fractured which stopped the oxygen supply to his brain and other organs," said Umar Shahab who heads Jakarta police’s health and medical division.
Arist Merdeka Sirait, chairman of the independent National Commission of Child Protection, said despite Abello’s death, the investigation into his sexual crimes would continue to find out if the Frenchman was involved with a network of sex predators.
“I am afraid he might have committed suicide to hide his network. So, the police must continue investigating,” he told UCA News.
Abello, who was facing a possible death sentence, was arrested in a hotel room while with two young girls in June before being paraded at press conference last week.
It is believed he abused as many as 305 young girls.
"He introduced himself as a photographer and promised girls he would make them fashion models before sexually assaulting them,” Jakarta police chief General Nana Sudjana told reporters on July 9.
He said Abello hunted girls aged between 10 and 17 in shopping malls and along the streets. He would then take them to a hotel where he had set up a studio to give the impression he was a real photographer.