Abused and frightened, orphanage boys cry for help but the state, church fail them

The Jakarta Post

August 28, 2020

By Margareth S. Aritonang and Evi Mariani

[PHOTO: The Depok Police investigation in September appeared to set itself up for failure from the beginning. Even though Angelo made a documented confession that he had molested some of the boys, the police said they could not bring Angelo to court. The police said the prosecutor’s office wanted them to add more statements from the victims and witnesses but they could not find the three boys who had made the original police reports. ]

A proverb says that it takes a village to raise a child but oftentimes, it takes only a person to ruin a child’s life and in Depok, West Java, a whole community of powerful adults seems to have abandoned children who were allegedly molested in a locally run Catholic orphanage.

Far away from their parents, with no one to look after them except for the head of the orphanage, known as Brother Angelo Ngalngola, the alleged molester himself, the children cried out for help. A collaborative team between The Jakarta Post and Tirto.id has uncovered facts that confirm that both the state and the Catholic Church heard the boys’ cries but washed their hands of them, allowing the suspect to walk free from police detention to celebrate Christmas, and a few months later set up a new orphanage and live among vulnerable boys again.

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