• A 56-year-old man in Indonesia was arrested recently after having been on the run since early 2019, police said
  • He is accused of raping a 9-year-old girl inside a church where he had worked as a caretaker
  • Police said he allegedly attacked the girl after luring her with candy and money

A man in Indonesia's southernmost East Nusa Tenggara province was arrested Sunday for allegedly raping a 9-year-old girl inside a Catholic church he used to work in, police said.

The unnamed 56-year-old man was arrested in the town of Labuan Bajo located in West Manggarai district, the Union of Catholic Asian (UCA) News first reported, citing police spokesperson I. Made Budiarsa.

Manggarai district police said the man had been on the run since February last year.

According to police, the man had allegedly raped a 9-year-old girl from the village of Pong Lale in Manggarai district. The alleged incident took place at the Pong Lale mission station church, where the man worked as a caretaker, police said.

The man, who was married and has three children, allegedly sexually assaulted the girl after he had lured her with candy and money, according to police.

Authorities learned of the incident when the girl's father filed a police complaint in November 2019.

An arrest warrant had been issued for the man after a medical examination confirmed the girl had been sexually assaulted, Budiarsa said.

"[T]he victim's family would like to see justice swiftly served," lawyer Valens Dulmin was quoted as saying by UCA News in response to the news of the arrest.

Dulmin had assisted the girl and her family with the help of Father Marthen Jenarut, chairman of Ruteng Diocese's Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, a Franciscan organization which Dulmin is also associated with, as per UCA News.

Dulmin also said that there could potentially be more victims who have not yet come forward.

"We have information that the victim might not be the only one. There is strong suspicion that there are other victims," Dulmin said.

The lawyer also pointed out, "If the police show resolve in prosecuting this guy, then this could encourage other victims to file complaints."

No further details have been provided regarding the man's arrest.

Representation. Police said the unnamed 56-year-old man allegedly attacked the victim after he lured her with an offering of candy and money. Pixabay