A French pensioner suspected of sexual abuse of more than 300 minors died in detention in Indonesia after an alleged suicide, local police announced on Monday. The 65-year-old French national from the Paris region was found unconscious on Thursday in a detention center in Jakarta and was transferred to hospital, where he died on Sunday, police spokesman said, Yusri Yunus. "The suspect attempted suicide with a cable he found in his cell," he told reporters.
The man died of a broken neck, his injury blocking the flow of oxygen, said Umar Shahab, an official with the National Police Hospital in Jakarta. An autopsy should be performed, but nothing points to a path other than suicide for the moment, said a source close to the file.
Indonesian police arrested him at the end of June in a hotel in the Indonesian capital with two underage girls in his room. The man had set up a studio in his hotel room and was attracting minors by offering to work as models, according to the police.
70,000 children are victims of these crimes each year in Indonesia
He appeared handcuffed and dressed in the prisoners' orange shirts and black masks on Thursday during a police press conference. She said she found videos of more than 300 minors between the ages of 10 and 17 on his computer and suspects him of having filmed his sexual acts. He faced a heavy prison sentence, chemical castration and even the death penalty if convicted on a series of charges falling under Indonesian child protection law.
The French Embassy, contacted by AFP, declined to comment. According to the ECPAT International network, which fights against the sexual exploitation of minors, some 70,000 children are victims of these crimes each year in Indonesia.