A 55-year-old male Qur’an teacher in Makassar, South Sulawesi, has been reported for allegedly sexually abusing his students.

Makassar Integrated Care Center for the Empowerment of Women and Children (P2TP2A) head Andi Tenri Pallalo said the office had received a total of five reports against the teacher, identified by the initials MP, from victims’ families so far.

“We have been handling this case since last week. We are currently assisting and conducting assessment by psychologists because the victims are minors,” Tenri said on Saturday.

She said the victims were girls aged 9 to 12 years old. The abuse came to light after one of the victims’ mothers became suspicious of why her daughter suddenly refused to go to class.

“After being questioned, the girl said that she was molested by her teacher,” Tenri said.

After the mother reported the alleged sexual abuse, other victims’ families came forward with similar allegations. Tenri said there may be other victims that have yet to file reports.

The Makassar Police’s Women and Children Protection (PPA) division head Insp. Ismail said the police had received reports from three victims as of Saturday.

He said that according to the victims’ testimony, MP had sexually abused them during their Quran recitation lessons. “The victims would be approached by the Quran teacher and then he would put his hands under their clothes and touch their private parts.”

Ismail added, however, that MP had yet to be summoned for questioning, because police were still collecting evidence to strengthen the case.

“We have been coordinating with the psychologist team of P2TP2A regarding the victims’ assessment results,” he said. “We have also been coordinating with the hospital for the physical examination and the collection of evidence.” (trn)

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